This week: 60, 70 or 80 minutes easy + 2,3 or 4 hill repeats. Remember, these runs should be easy – often described as conversational. Mt. Nasty, of course, is not easy, but remember: just get to the top, these are not sprints. Speaking of Mt. Nasty….if you run from Barclay Ave to the Mailbox, (and if all this new mapping software is accurate), Mt. Nasty is a hill of about .2 miles that gains almost exactly 100 feet in elevation. It averages about a 12% grade.
Remember my advice about starting every run slowly, and finishing much faster. This is how one runner who trained in Kenya put it:
Every run I did with Kenyans started at a stumble, and most finished substantially faster. Contrast that with most recreational runners’ practice of starting out the door at the pace they think they should be running that day, and maintaining roughly the same pace throughout the run.
Think of a pot of water coming to a boil-there’s no one instant where you can pinpoint when it started to get hot, but the end result is undeniable. The same thing happens when you allow your muscles and cardiovascular system to ease into action-as you gradually warm up, you’ll up your pace without really noticing it. Toward the end of your run, you’ll be moving quickly and comfortably, and will be teaching yourself how to run fast but relaxed. Finishing faster than you start is also good practice for running negative splits in races.
Here is a great article written by an American runner who decided to train in Kenya for a couple of months. He highlights the same fact that most runs began as a “shuffle”. I love his race experience and his description of the hill workout. (Especially just before he was dropped when the leader turned to him and said: “You might notice the pace change a little.”)
One thing I love about running is that you get to experience the elements. Who cares if it’s cold if all you do is go from your house, to your garage, to your office and back again? Who cares if it’s hot and humid if you never leave the air conditioning. When you run outdoors, you can’t avoid the weather. And I think that forcing yourself to run in less than ideal conditions is one of life’s little victories. Is it a really that big of a deal to run inside on a treadmill rather then running outside when it’s 15 degrees outside? Maybe not, but I am fully convinced that those seemingly insignificant little battles that we face in life, are preparing us for the big battles that one day we inevitably will face… And knowing that you have the courage to suit up and run when it’s 34 degrees and raining is a small victory that will give you the confidence to face tougher challenges as they arise!
And, of course, like my buddy Gino always says, there no such thing as inclement conditions – only inadequate preparation! So prepare for the cold and join us outside.
Polly is hosting. Click on this link for details. It’s a google document, and you can sign up to bring something and then press “save” in the upper right corner. (It will actually save automatically after a certain amount of time…) Also… the “North” part of N. 14th street, is really important if you want to show up to the right house! Finally, we would love for you to bring something, but we really want YOU to come! So if you can’t bring a dish, just show up tomorrow after the run.
See you Sunday!