Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The hills are alive...

Not though, with the Sound of Music!

I am a true champion of speed and hill work as an aid to improving one's fitness. I quite often quote my own experience to members of our club. I harp back to when (my then young son) Marc and I joined Eccleshill Road Runners, attending regularly once a week on Friday's, still in fact billed as our 'social run night'. I can't remember what it definitely was that influenced us to attend Monday's in addition to Friday's but I think it might have been either a time trial or a circuit session we used to hold at the back of Morrison's Enterprise Five, 'Enterprise Surprise'! After that we regularly attended two nights per week. I can still see from my past training logs the improvement in my running both training and racing. Although I don't profess to be Speedy Gonzales, I do know that those Monday speed and hills sessions really did help me to improve my running as a whole.

So having had a huge dip in my fitness in recent months due to injury I now feel that I can begin to work on it. Beginning last night I'm now on a mission to start and make improvements to the way I train. Meeting as usual in Fitness First reception we had yet another new comer trying out the club. Chatting about our club's training regimes Helen and I explained exactly what kinds of activities we do on Monday's. Rather worried our new lady asked if it was a competition. I explained that each one of us was competing against ourselves. 'You get out what you put in' is a familiar turn of phrase we use when describing our sessions. Lister Lane hill reps was the order of the (Valentines) day. After a fantastic warm up with Helen in the form a gentle jog around Fitness First followed by dynamic stretching, we then jogged along to the hill in question. We were supposed to aim for 4 to 6 reps of the hill which included a lovely downhill recovery before each effort. I set off on the first one with gusto, down the hill with a sharp turn to tackle the beast at the bottom. As I overtook some other club mates I heard 'show off' muttered. I smiled to myself and carried on, after all this was supposed to be about 'effort' was it not? Nearing the top I ran out of steam and was reduced to a power walk. I continued on and was soon able to regain my stride.

I was very satisfied with my effort at the end of the session as I had managed to complete 4 full reps and then finished off with two half reps with Marc. Following those I had a fast paced jog back to base with Lindsey, Nikos, Annie and Marc. I went home feeling that I had fulfilled my aim. For some time now I have not been making any attempt to put any effort into the Monday sessions, opting instead to exercise restraint for fear of aggravating my injury.

Today I have been considering the possibility of entering the Trimpell 20 in a bid to support fellow club members who have entered this race as a training run for the London marathon. Tomorrow I have a 10 mile club run to look forward to.

Now where are those choccies I got from my Valentine? I think I've earned one or two!

1 comment:

  1. This hot off the 'Runners World Newsletter' press!

    This is the week to: Power uphill

    This week we're sending you up and down hills. Even if you're running a flat course like the Virgin London Marathon, your legs will reap the rewards from charging uphill.

    Regular hill sessions improve your running efficiency, strengthen your legs and boost cardiovascular fitness. In fact, hill work is like a strength session at the gym - as you climb, the muscles in your hips, legs, ankles and feet have to work together to keep you running smoothly while supporting your full body weight.

    As you get used to running uphill, running on the flat will get much easier and faster - great news as you power towards your marathon goal. If you're unsure of the best running technique to conquer those slopes, we've got plenty of advice on hand.