Thursday, July 09, 2009


Today was the day. It was inevitable. Hill repeats must be done today. My schedule said so.

I figured out the confusion of yesterday. I took my plan from Yasso's book, taking the liberty to switch the Sunday long run to Saturday. I also pulled out the RW version of the plan. Both are sitting next to the computer in my stack. The two are slightly different. The runs each week are the same, the weekly mileage is the same, its just that some of the runs have moved days and the rest days have moved from one version to the other. Either way the plan called for hill repeats in the middle of an 8 mile run.

The repeats had me anxious over all the details. I had to find the right hill. I had to find a route that got me to that hill after a 2 mile warm up. And then there's all that up and down of the same hill. The mental monotony is more than my little brain can take. I love hills, just not the same hill, up and down, up and down, 12 times.

I started the day with a visit to my personal trainer. The plan was back and biceps today. Chris decided it was a good idea to throw in some legs too, although I tried to back out due to the hills I was anticipating. I relented realizing that the leg work would be minimal by working three body parts and Chris agreed to keep it more aerobic than power on the legs. It was a good overall workout.

Then I was off to tackle the hill repeats. I settled on the Via Verde hill. After a little more than a 2 mile warm up the work began. I resigned myself to the task and dove in. The repeats were broken in thirds; a set of short ones, a set a long ones, followed by another set of short ones.

The first criterion was finding a hill that was at least 2 minutes long. The Via Verde Hill takes me 8:00 to tackle the whole thing. So check that off the list.

The first set of repeats were described as a set of short hills: three or four sprints half way up then jog back down. I set my watch for 1:00 and dug in for the climb and jogged back down when the watch beeped at me. 4 repeats done, so far so good.

The second set of repeats were described as a set of long hills: three or four hard runs all the way up, jog half way back down and sprint the other half down. OK, here goes. I kept the watch at 1:00 and stopped when it beeped the second time. The second minute was definitely more grueling than the first. The jog and sprint to the bottom were needed and fun. The only problem was once I sprinted to the bottom I was expected to continue with a hard run back up for another 2 minutes. I took the liberty of a 15 second "catch my breath" break between each of the 4 long repeats.

The third set echoed the first. I was pretty happy that although my legs were beginning to feel like lead by now I made it make up to roughly the same spot on the hill at each 1:00 segment.

I followed that up with an easy 2.5 miles to flesh out the 8 miles.

Hill repeats - DONE!

Next week we go to real speedwork. Yikes, something else to fret about for 7 days, in fact I've already started thinking about it.


Joe said...

Wow, hill repeats. You are really making a cool comeback. Glad this is working so well for you.

I'm thinking you will be glad you did those by the time we get to HOA.

Wes said...

I always grimace when coach gives me hill repeats. She gave me bike hill repeats slap dab in the middle of a 80 mile ride. Nothing like shredding your thighs and having 40 more miles to go get back to the dayum car ;-)

Nice job!!! That's the kind of focus that makes us stronger!!!

Legs and Wings said...

Good work Darrell. Way to run inspired up those hills.

David said...

I'm on the same plan and I will be in Rhode Island for those hill repeats you just did. It will work out perfectly for me. I just hope I can pull them off like you did. I actually look forward to it so I can move on to the intervals. I miss those on this Yasso plan vs. the FIRST plan.