Hills,Hills,Always Hills!!!

Summer has arrived again! While most people will be delighted at the arrival of this sunny spell – Summer has been a bit of a washout so far – I must admit, I prefer to run when it’s torrential rain; struggling hopelessly once the thermometer starts creeping up.

However, since I can’t control the weather (yet – I’m working on it…) I just have to deal with whatever the conditions are on that day; just adjusting pace/effort depending on the clime.

Anyway, the point is, both Tuesday’s and Thursday’s club sessions this week were hot, hot hot!

Tuesday’s track session had an unusual warm up. We had to run a steady lap holding a crisp in each hand. This was supposed to help promote a fluid, relaxed running style as you had to try and complete the lap with the crisp intact. I think it was more a battle of willpower to go 400m without devouring the crisp.

The main set was 4x300m followed by a 100m recovery. After this, we had a 3 minute rest before repeating 3 times. This was quite difficult, but I managed to keep the reps fairly consistent – managing to finish strongly with my quickest rep. I also felt some pain in my right quad, which did loosen off some after a good stretch at the end.

I should have probably missed Thursday’s session due to the fact I was still feeling pain in my quad. I figured that, since the last two club sessions that I have been to involved hill sprints, the chances were that  we’d be having a nice jog round Carlisle. Ha, ha, no such luck! On arrival, we were told that we’d be doing Kenyan hills – 1 minute sprint up the hill followed by a 90 second recovery down. This is repeated 8 (yes 8!!!) times.

We had a nice off-road run through Rickerby Park to the hill. Then the torture began. Again, I was fairly consistent at getting to the same point of the hill each time. The last 20 seconds were really tough. You think you’ve reached your limit but you just have to grit your teeth and keep the legs driving you forward.

Running often involves battles with your mind. Silencing that voice in your head that’s screaming at you to quit! It’s about getting to the point where you’re ready to give up, and then breaking past it. It’s realising that you can do more than you think you can once you silence all those doubts that keep creeping into your mind.

I like to finish a session strongly and so always try to make the last effort my best of the night. Again, I managed this tonight – almost, almost, making it to the top of the hill! We then followed the same route back on heavy, lead-like legs and had a good stretch after.

My quads really felt it after tonight’s session. The next day, they were still painful so I Googled ‘quad pain’. Here I found several references to relieving quad pain by running downhill quickly. I thought, ‘what the Hell’ and gave it a try. Later that day I noticed a real difference and I could bend my leg back without pain. {Disclaimer, I’m a bit of a nutter when it comes to injuries preferring to avoid doctors and generally ignore the pain. My bad. I’d advise any sensible person to consult a doctor when injured rather than Googling!}

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