Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Hills are paying off

True to my word, I've been hitting the hills hard ever since last week and it's really reaping benefits. The first few days were tough and I was very sore afterwards even though the whole workout was only 5k or so. Supercompensation kicked in though and I soon reached the point where doing an hour of hill reps wasn't an issue.

To show myself how far I've come, I did a hill test on the treadmill at work this evening. The protocol is quite similar to what I understand a lab based VO2 max test to be: starting at 9kph and 0% incline, I increase the speed every 15 seconds and the incline every 0.5 km. So it's a very easy workout for about 15 minutes and then it rapidly gets tough til by the end it's really a question of how much longer I'm willing to hurt for. I did it for the first time last week, enduring 4 km/18:00 of torture (it's actually quite fun though:D). At that point (4% incline, 16.3kph), I was well over my threshold and could perhaps have maintained it for a bit longer, but definitely couldn't handle increasing the speed any more. So I was very pleased today when I got to the 4k mark barely feeling it, and lasted another 3:00/600 m before hitting stop. At that point, the speed was 17.4kph and the incline 4.5%, so I think it's a massive improvement in fitness in a very short space of time. I'm looking forward to the Aths Vic 10 miler on Saturday to see what it translates into in a race (hoping for sub 60).

I also had an awesome time at Lake Mountain on Sunday. Dad and I went up to take advantage of the 15 cm of snow/mud that apparently counts as 'very good' these days and in between trying to avoid the rocks that were sticking out of the trails, I managed to do 5 reps up the Royston road trail. It's 1.8k long and a killer (3 minutes to go down, 12 minutes to go up) but I felt great and a heck of a lot stronger than last year, where even one go up murdered me.

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