Tuesday, May 3, 2011

W9/D1 - My First 'Cold and Damp' Hill Workout

Warm-up: 2.1K @7:05/km
Hill workout X 4: 2.0K @7:36/km
Cool-down: 2K @7:04/km

Finally! After eight weeks of 'Road Work' with five weeks of striders twice per week, I am progressing to the next phase, 'Strength Training,' and doing something a little different ...

Today I chose to run solo because I wasn't sure if today's new workout was worth taking the dogs with me. There were two pairs of sad, disappointed eyes on the other side of the door when I closed it behind me. :( However, it proved to be a wise decision.:)

First, I ran 2K along the bike path from home to get to the hill. I was scheduled to run "1 mile" (1.61 km) as a warm-up , which is perfect because the hill I am using for these workouts is just over 2km from my place. I am using the hill on Park St., directly beside Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute and Harris Park.

I re-set my Garmin when I arrived and ran my first time up. Cool! I was pleased that I could do it, and it was a good challenge. I ran 'into' the hill, swung my arms down by my waist and maintained my pace at the crest of the hill ... just as the book instructs me. I felt very good and thought that maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all. :) I ran back down, jogged for one minute at the base, and then started my second climb. Not as easy as the first time! I did it, but it was definitely more challenging. Repeat running down the hill and jogging for one minute at the base before ascending a third time. Okay, really not as easy as the first time and slower than the second time. "Aha!" - I get it now why these are repeated. One last time ... descend, jog for one minute, head up for fourth and final ascent. The toughest climb yet. Wow!

The hill didn't "break my heart," but it gave me a good butt kicking! :)

One interesting observation while I was out - there was a barefoot runner in Harris Park while I was doing this. We were in sync with one another - I ran up and down and met up with him at the corner of the park when I was doing my minute jog while he was running from one end of the park to the other and back again. He was in bare feet and running on the grass. I discreetly watched him and assumed that he was keeping his eyes out for needles (!!). I lived in my bare feet as a kid growing up in the country and hated wearing shoes, but as an adult, I am very nervous about bare feet in a city park.

I reset my Garmin a second time, and then headed home by running a cool-down 2K. At first it felt like I was a little sluggish as I recovered from my last hill climb, but then something very cool happened. My pace picked up considerably and I was running strong. I peeked at my Garmin and saw that my pace was 6:30/km. Very cool! I had two hills on the way back home so I was unable to maintain this pace the whole way, but I had a nice "re-connect" with my race pace from Sunday. :)

Quite the power workout! Challenging, but definitely worthwhile. The book warns not to focus on speed/pace on the hill as this is a "strength" exercise. It is also suggests that I either run an easy 5K tomorrow or take a rest day, depending upon how I feel following this workout. Right now I am feeling "good" so I am counting on running 5K tomorrow, but I will have to see after tonight's sleep. :)

On a planning note, I have a tempo run planned for Thursday. I am scheduled to run 20 minutes at "race pace" or at a faster pace. Originally, I was thinking of running this at 6:45/km, but I just did that on the weekend in my race. :) Instead, I think I will aim for 6:30/km and try my nest to keep my pace between faster than 6:40/km. I have never done tempo runs before and the book warns that it takes a little bit of time to finesse so I am thinking this a realistic, conservative goal for my first attempt.

On a final note, I am officially registered for the Around the Square Run (5K & 10K) in Goderich. I signed up for the 10K as a fun run. This is the new run that is replacing the Embro Highland Games 10K in the Runpiker Series. Interestingly, it is limited to 350 people. I was #315. :)


  1. GREAT job! Hills are so tough but so important! PS. I also think we must live close to each other...it takes me just under 3km to get to that hill! :)

  2. Sounds like a great workout!

    (I'm a new follower)

    What book are you using for your training plan?