1 Mar 2013

Run All The Hills!

Did you know.....
that lactic acid is not a biproduct from anaerobic running, but fuel?! During low intensive running it's cleared as quickly as it's produced but during high intensity intervals it's accumulated in the muscles as the muscles can't clear it as quick as it's produced.

Working 8.30am to 8pm means you have to sort out your training either at the crack of dawn or way past (my) bedtime.... That meant I got up at 5.30am (Jesus wept!) and at 6.30am I got on the treadmill, with the plan to do a tempo run. Nothing very far, fast or exciting, just 6-7k of running 15 seconds faster per kilometre than marathon pace (which is totally manageable at that painful time of day). To avoid falling asleep on the treadmill I decided to set the machine on a hill interval session but run it at tempo pace, hence working my hamstrings a bit harder and also making the whole workout a bit more intense, especially since I wasn't braving any high speeds.

That all sounds like a semi-cushy run, but if you've dragged yourself out of bed that early you want to get something out of it. A while ago I read an article on how you can train your muscles to use lactic acid more effectively by alternating running faster and slower than threshold. By keeping a higher speed in between the intervals, instead of the normal complete rest or easy pace, you hover around threshold and you will (hopefully) train your musecles to use lactic acid more effectively and sharpen your fitness. Today I (kind of) applied this training technique to my morning run. Instead of decreasing the pace on the flat sections in between the intervals I kept a steady tempo run hence making my recovery periods more intense and not quite so restful.

Now, this made things a lot more interesting and quite a bit harder. The intervals started after 8 minutes, and were all 1 minute long with a 1 minute flat rest in between. The incline varied from 2 to 5%, creating some gentle hill intervals, long enough to create some burn and get my heart rate up but short enough to be doable without dropping the pace. After 45 minutes I'd done just over 8k, working fairly hard throughout. I was about happy being able to combine a tempo and a hill run, a concept I'm going to try and do on a regular basis. I finished of the morning's gym visit with a sneaky swim, and I'll be damned if this whole front crawl malarky isn't going a bit better than before. Persistence is the key, or so I hope....

This was me at 6.30am. Sometimes it helps to be a little bit insane...

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