Lungs gasping for air, heart beating hard, legs screaming. Aren’t the both they best and worst feelings for runners? In this training block I’m back doing hills again.
On Sunday I watched my three year old son run down a hill with the joy and abandon of, well, a three year old. You know what? It reminded me of me when I let my legs turn over as fast as they can down a hill. There’s something about letting go and running down a hill which makes me feel like a child again and I love it!
Not only did he run down but then insisted on walking back up a further two times, purely to be able to run back down again as it was so fun. It got me thinking. Should I be changing how I think about my hill runs? Rather than focusing on how hard I’m working going up hill, should concentrate on how much I enjoy going down hill? Would a change in focus help?
Today I set up a particularly hard session on a new hill. So new that the recce was my warm up. Probably not what most people would recommend but it’s a well known hill for hill sessions and Gruby had told me about a session she’d done there so I figured I’d just go for it.
I knew it was going to be a fairly long hill, rather than the short hill reps I’d done previously so I had a mosey three quarters of the way up at the end of my warm up and then worked out roughly where I’d need to start for each rep to be about two minutes.
I was pretty much spot on as well. It turned out from my starting place to the top was about a minute and 45 seconds.
I’ve never run hill reps with music so that was a bit of a change this morning. It definitely helped me keep going when I got to the steepest bit of the hill but I never felt it was a distraction from focusing on my form. I have a habit of using my calves rather than activating my glutes when I’m doing hill runs and I still managed to focus on that with the music on.
I did try to take my three year old approach but if I’m honest it didn’t really work. I don’t mind hill sessions anyway. That said next time I find a big hill to run down as part of my route then I’m going to release my inner child and run down with glee.