This week I raised the number of repetitions up the Brooklyn Hill to five – that’s 5kms of uphill running, plus another 1km uphill to do once that is completed, to get home.
Monday went well with me hitting some good times both up and down the hill. I didn’t push too hard as I still had the rest of the week to build up the speed. I was still running mostly pain free and loving it.
The total distance ended up being just under 16.5kms with an average pace of 6:03 min/km. That’s about what I’d be happy with on a flat course. So I’m super happy that I can sustain that sort of pace while running hill repeats.
Tuesday was a different story.
I ended up at the gym instead of out on the road, so I wanted to do a bit of benchmarking on the treadmill.
My normal process on the treadmill is to run the first kilometre slowly – 10km/h and then try to finish the 10km set at around 12km/h. Sometimes I was even successful.
This time I started at 12km/h for the first kilometre, then pushed it up to 15km/h for the second kilometre. Previously I’d only been able to run at this pace for 500 metres before I bailed. But my fitness has improved a lot, so I made it through the entire kilometre before dropping back to 12km/h for a rest km.
Encouraged by my improvement, I pushed it up to 15km/h for the next kilometre, and managed to make it all the way to the end, before dropping back down again.
The third time was the charm, and by the time I had clocked up 6kms (2 of which were at 15km/h and the last one at 16km/h), I was really starting to puff and pant, so I bailed out for 500 metres and walked to get some recovery.
But don’t think I’d started slacking!
For the next fast set I bumped the speed up to 18km/h and set my little legs-a-running. That was hard! But I made it to the end of the next kilometre and staggered back to a walk. I was now gasping for air and sweating like crazy. But it wanted to give it one more go. So 500 metres later I hit the button to push the speed up again.
I didn’t make it all the way to the end this time, bailing out at just a bit over half a kilometre. But I’m happy with the session. My heart and lungs certainly felt like they’d been hammered, and I had a sore chest for the next couple of days. Deep breathing was difficult, causing me to cough, so I took a couple of days off.
Friday was the next day I managed to get back out onto the streets – back to the hill climbing. Another five rep session, run pretty hard. I managed nearly the whole set, including the last 1km climb, without walking. I did break down about 20 metres from the very top and staggered the last bit while gulping down loads of water.
Friday’s effort left me with an average pace of 5:44 min/km. So an improvement of about 20 seconds per km for the week. Not bad.
Then it was time to come home, have a shower and deal with all that was happening in Christchurch.
So as I said, the week started out well, but the end was anything but good.
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