Tuesday, October 15, 2013

No Speedwork Tonight!

I've been so busy the last few days that I had no idea what was on the agenda for Tuesday's usual speedwork session, plus I was feeling tired and kind of dreading doing my usual reps around the park.  I usually enjoy the challenge, but this time Real Life had caught up on me.  What a nice surprise I had when I got home from work and checked my training plan - yay, no speedwork tonight!

There was a catch however... the plan was for 10 x 1 min steep hill climbs instead.  Gulp.  Ever heard that expression that hills are speedwork in disguise?!

Pretending to be unfazed, I jogged down to the park, found a steep hill and bounded up it.  This was fun!  I even chose a track with tree roots to dodge over and daydreamed I was in a trail race:

The tree roots were really knarly towards the top!
By the third repeat, things were no longer fun.  My bounding hill climbs had turned into a short 45 sec shuffles with frequent stumbles and burnt out quads before the top.

Abandoning the mountain goat idea, I moved around to another slope covered in grass. Here the traction was better and I could run up with less effort:

My quads and lungs gradually recovered, my pace picked up, and I lost count started to enjoy it so much that I ended up doing 11 repeats.  What sort of crazy person does that?!

(guess which colour shows elevation)
I actually do know the answer to that question.  Crazy people like me, and if you are reading this maybe you too, who run because it never fails to make us us feel good.  It can take a while to warm up and get going, but I almost always finish a run feeling miles better than when I started, not just physically but mentally too. And I can confirm that a few steep hill climbs certainly do the trick!

My hill, aka Bayfield Park, from the boardwalk through Hukanui Reserve
And one day I will be doing them on that track with the tree roots.....

Do you have steep hill climbs in your routine?
Or pretend you are in a race when you're really not?


  1. I try to throw in hill repeat regularly I think they are really great for runners. Although I don't know that last time I got in a good set, this has not been a great year for running. Nice job with your hill repeats :)

  2. The last picture - what a pretty place to get in a good hill workout!

  3. Ha- I can't believe you ran one too many! Way to go!
    That is a gorgeous place to run hills, or run through anytime.
    I actually rarely run hills unless they're disguised when I run trails. Before Ironman Canada I think I did hill repeats twice and was so glad I had during the race!


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