I am lucky enough to have been coached to one marathon by Mystery Coach, and the lessons I learned ion those months still stand me very well; my running has definitely moved up a level, and stayed there even when I had to look after myself again (he still gives me the odd nudge when I do something particularly silly, though).
As I mentioned a few posts ago, I am trying to add a few sprinkles of Canova to an otherwise firmly Lydiard-base training schedule. One of the recommended things are hills sprints. Other coaches, like Brad Hudson, swear by that as well; he also includes that in his base training. That's similar to strides, which feature in a lot of training manuals as well.
In a word, that's what I did this morning. Monday and Tuesday had been standard runs of 8 and 10 miles each, neither of which was particularly noteworthy, maybe apart from the fact that the legs were feeling pretty good, despite Sunday's faster-than-planned pace.
I kept an open mind on the number of hill sprints I was going to do. The hill was about 2 miles from home, it's the same hill I have used on numerous occasions for sprints and drills and general hill repeats before. 2 miles form a nice warm./up, because you definitely do not want to start sprinting with cold muscles.
It went all very well at first. There is a gate across the road that took me about 17-or-so seconds to reach, so that was the length of each sprint. I walked down the hill, making sure not to hyperventilate (that's a lesson from last year). I was fine until the fourth one when all of a sudden I was hit by a wave of nausea and started feeling lightheaded. I even had stars in front of my eyes for a few seconds. That was the sign to stop. Next time I'd hope to stop before reaching that point, but I had felt fine right up to that point, it was amazing how quickly the hit came. It all only added to just over a minute of real work; I find it quite amazing that so little work is supposed to have a real impact.
Such a short, sharp workout is always over very quickly. I had allocated an hour but was home again after less than 50 minutes. In a way I am looking forward to the next one. It makes a change from the usual constant, steady (and yes, at times boring) effort.
Oh, and the mention in this article was nice. It's not often that my mother-in-law is impressed by what I'm doing.
- 24 Sep
- 8 miles, 1:02:04, 7:46 pace, HR 144
- 25 Sep
- 10 miles, 1:16:25, 7:32 pace, HR 149
- 26 Sep
- 6 miles, 49:04, 8:11 pace, HR 148
incl. 4 all-out hill sprints