Thursday 23 July 2009

Altitude training

According to Google Earth my town house stands at an altitude of 645ft but most of my training, if you can call it that, involves running even higher. About a mile and a half away is a flat topped hill beloved by traction kiters, dog walkers (who mostly drive to the top) and more energetic people who stroll up to admire the wonderful panoramic views. It's encircled by a newly laid sandy path about half a mile in length that roughly follows the 900ft contour around the perimeter This is where I do most of my training when I'm away from the Dales. I call it altitude training, and that's where I was today.
I allowed my breakfast a whole hour to settle before lacing up my shoes and jogging gently upwards through the fields to commence my session around 9.30. The weather was beautiful and I had the hill to myself. Well, almost, after I'd scattered the rabbits and an odd pheasant, though one of the local Yellow Hammer population persisted throughout with his 'little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese'.
Two marker posts are conveniently situated about 180m apart on a bit of path that is slightly uphill and it's here I do my faster reps. My Garmin said I'd run exactly two miles when I set off on the first of 9 x 180m reps, lengthening my stride over the first half and accelerating over the last 80m or so. Nine reps gives me just over a mile of fast running, which is quite enough for me at my time of life! I always finish with a circuit of the hill to cool down before jogging back home. But this morning I still felt fresh with energy to spare and my 'jog home' incorporated 8 x 20 seconds acceleration runs. I just hope I can muster the same sort of energy when I run the Harrogate 10K!

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