Thursday, June 02, 2005

Head for the Hills

I live in an area where the only “hill” is the utility bridge that passes over the local highway. Based on my experience in the military, I know that running hills is an excellent way to build endurance. This is particularly relevant for my next major run, a half-marathon in the Black Forest on July 15th. I ran this HM last year (2:06:24), the run consists of two loops along a trail containing a couple heartbreaking climbs.

As many of you know we belong to a garden club in a town approximately 11K/7M from where we live. Standing in our garden I see a nice stretch of hills on the other side of the town, part of which are used for vineyards by the local wine-producers. Anyway last night I took my scooter to the garden, suited up and literally headed for the hills.

After running about 15 minutes over the fields and through the woods I reached the base of the “mountain” and started my ascent. The steep, forest covered, partially asphalt trail wound it’s way upwards in what ended up being a brutal 12 minute 22 second climb. I loved it! The best part was at the top, it seems the local sports club has set up an exercise trail where you run along and approximately every 200 meters stop at an exercise station and do whatever the sign shows (e.g. chin-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, various balancing etc.). Of course the first station that I saw at the top of the hill was the chin-up bar, so I had to try it (not easy after the hill climb). Anyway, the top of the hill ended up being a plateau of sorts with lots of little hills where you can run up and down till your hearts content. I sailed around for awhile then headed back to the garden, running altogether about 75 minutes. What a challenging and rewarding run. After running on the flat land for more than two years, I just ate this trail up!

The elevation difference from the base of the mountain to the top of my major climb was of about 100 meters (328 feet). The elevation difference for the HM in July is 65 meters (213 feet). In any case this trail will provide some excellent training for my HM.

Naturally my legs are a bit sore this morning, validating the quality of hill running. I also had a bug fly directly into my eye as I was coming down the hill last night - this morning my eye is still a bit red and sore.

Summary of Last Night's Training:

1 set 15 pushups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
~12K/7.5M run, including 12 minute hill climb, 20 minutes of rolling hills, 11 minute downhill.
1 set 15 pushups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
Cool down.
Conditions: 16:45; 24C/75F, warm, sunny, no wind.
Feeling after training: Legs like lead, but totally satisfied.

Diet Stats:

No change from yesterday.

I totally hate/love hill training. Glad you found a great trail!
This sounds like a great place and a great run. No doubt making it part of your training will turn you into a hill-monster!!
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