Hill repeats on a treadmill – get real!!
Todays run was hill repeats, 15 minute warm up, then 1 minute uphill, 2 mins on the flat, do this 8 times, then a 15 minute cool down, and we are all good!
Around here, that is a challenge to achieve because there are no decent hills on my doorstep, albeit there is a place nearby (Burford) which would work but I just don’t have time to drive there and back as this adds maybe another 30 minutes on and I was already up at 05:30 in order to complete my run before my first meeting of the day. So I thought, ah well, use the treadmill, that’s why I bought it! Also, considering it is just sat there in my Paincave (yes, with a capital P) staring out the window at me looking all forlorn, I thought that it doesn’t make any sense to ignore it. My Paincave is not pretty (yet!), it’s more functional, I need to tidy the cables and get some flooring down that works.
So, there I am at stupid ‘o clock (about 05:45) stood on my treadmill, psyching myself up for my run, feeling tired and tbh severely underwhelmed by the whole affair!
After last week being a minor disaster (well on the scale of disasters it’s very minor) because I didn’t meet my objectives (fellow runners will recognise the self abuse this brings with it!).
I was determined to just get the run done!
Last night I felt that I had lost my ‘running mojo’ but I think it’s back today, fickle little thing that it is! My run was not fast of course (if you have read any of my other posts you will know this already!), but the focus was on climbing and in the planned 8 minutes of climbing I climbed 338 feet which again, is not dramatic, but it was enough.
And what I found was that, I LOVED IT.
The challenge of the short bursts of climbing, much like intervals, really fires my engine up and this just got more and more fun as I went along. I had an average pace of only 13:05, but this was heavily driven by the warm up and cool down as more time was spent in those parts of the run than the hill repeats, but with a peak pace of 10:29. I enjoyed my run and I had ticked off another target for the day, all before anyone else in my house was out of bed, BOOM! Also, this week is a lower mileage week, so that should help my Running Mojo recover itself enough to take on the week!
You can see from my fitness charts the effect of last week, but the overall picture is still good and I still have 16 weeks before the main event of The Race to The Stones, which, to be fair, is as long as many complete training plans last, I just recognised the size of the challenge and decided to get off my ass sooner!
Looking deeper into my data, there appears to be the beginnings of trends in my datasets (such as cadence, max heart rate etc) but it’s too early to claim a statistical difference yet. It’s interesting though because in order to understand the differences (if they exist) what I am more interested in is the relationship between these differences and any physiological changes. For example, is the fact that my max heart rate appears to be reducing because I am getting fitter, or only because I am running slower 80% of the time? I am certain I am getting fitter, I have lost 3.6kg since the end of January this year and my VO2 Max is improving (slowly!), so is this one or the other or, as I suspect a combination of the two? Understanding data like that might be beyond my capabilities so I might need to get some support on that if I decide to explore it.
Although most of my runs are slow now (in power zone 2), when I recently freed myself of the plan, and just ran for the fun of it, I was significantly faster, also, the pace I was at would have been pushing myself quite hard in 2018/19, but this felt comfortable, not easy, but comfortable. I could have happily kept going for a 10k or maybe longer at that pace, so I’m certain of the effects of the training. What I am having difficulty right now is separating the cause from the effects as they are somewhat circular! I will have to be patient and let the data talk!