Saturday, October 4, 2008

First Hill Workout

Legs felt good enough to give the hill workout a go.  I felt great during my 3-mile warm up - 6:54 pace in the trails, but that wouldn't last long.

The plan was to do 8 X 45" up about a 10-12% grade w/ a jog back down and a total of only about 90 seconds between repeats.  The problem was that I didn't have anything exactly in the 10-12% range, but I did have one that I mapped out earlier to 14% so I figured that was close enough.  Only later did I realize that the 14% grade was considering a much longer segment of the hill - the part I ran my repeats on today was actually between 17-20%.  Big difference!

First repeat felt good - nice and quick up the steep incline.  Second repeat about the same, just a little tougher.  Third rep - really started to feel it in the quads, and by the 4th rep my quads felt like they were on fire.  Checking the Garmin later I realized that I was running up this near 20% grade at about 6:30/mile pace for the first few reps - that'll kill your quads quickly!

By the time I got to rep #5 my legs simply weren't functioning the way you'd like - anytime I tried to surge it was like someone poured gasoline on my legs and lit a match.  Not fun at all.  I did manage to do a 6th rep but I was clearly going downhill fast (which really means uphill - SLOW) so I just cut it off there.  No way I was going to be able to do 8 reps on that hill - not a chance.  

I came away from the workout really encouraged - why you ask?  Because this hill just killed me today - chewed me up and spit me out.  By the 5th rep my quads were mush - unable to do much of anything.  So what that means to me is that this is an area where I can REALLY improve over the next few months - and when I get better here, by default I'll be a lot faster, and that will help my middle distance times a ton!  So I'm already looking forward to this workout next week - the plan calls for 10 x 1-minute, but again that's assuming a 10% grade hill.  If I can find such a hill, then that's what I'll do, but if it's this hill again - I'll probably just try the 8 X 45" again.  

I'm supposed to run 9 - 11 miles tomorrow, but I have no idea how my legs are going to feel when I wake up.  I guess I'll have to play it by ear.


10/4:  5- miles including 3-miles @ 6:54, HR - 145 and 6 x 45" hill repeats (17-20% grade) 


Thomas said...

No wonder your quads went haywire - the hill was much steeper than prescribed. That was a great workout!

bricey said...

Nice hill session. 20% grade - were there any stairs!! :)

Thanks for the comment. Sub 1:20 in 24 months might be pushing it (it would be nice though....). It would have got me into the top 120 yesterday!!