Hill Sprints. Just Shoot Me Now.

I had been feeling on an upward trend with my running with my hip issues subsiding along with the leg-cinderblocks. I had hoped this was the direction my marathon training was going.

Not so much. I was trashed by the hill sprint workout yesterday.

The basic workout was this:

* 15-25 minute warm up
* Form drills
* 6-8 times 60-90 seconds at 1 mile-5k speed on an incline of 6-10%, jog in between for about 2 minutes
* 15-25 minute cool down

I did the warm up feeling sluggish and slower than usual. Then I completely forgot to do the form drills. The first interval I did at 6% and barely made it over 60 seconds at around my 10k speed. I had to walk between then jogged a little. Decided to downgrade my plan to do 90 seconds to 60 AND downgraded the incline to 5% for the next six drills. At least managed to do 5k speed, but still had to walk then jog between. My final sprint was for 60 seconds between 5k & 1 mile speed (sadly closer to 5k) at a 6% incline. Then my cool down lasted only 10 minutes.

I was toast.

Yesterday was a strength training session, and I did notice then that my quads felt tired when doing weighted split-squats. Maybe I can blame part of my bad run on fatigue from my long run and other workouts. My hip is ok, but it was feeling some strain from the exercise. What upsets me the most is that I’ve done this workout twice before and both times I did far better at it. It is probably the hardest of my running workouts, and the second time I did it, it was a real struggle. The first time, maybe it was beginners luck? But I rocked it.

20140731-091654-33414879.jpgSometimes I wonder if I’m throwing limitations on myself now that I have a better sense of what I can do. When I started running last year, I didn’t know what my body could achieve. I simply ran and was usually pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Now I feel a lot more self-doubt and pressure despite consciously trying not to do that to myself. Yet I feel like I’m making excuses every time my runs don’t go the way I want them to.

My husband said to kill the hill workout the next time I have to do it. I think I’ll have another in about a month. But really, I just want to skip it.

It occurred to me yesterday that maybe my heart isn’t into running an October marathon. But I also suspect it is fear telling me that. Screw fear!

Time to get back on the horse…

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13 thoughts on “Hill Sprints. Just Shoot Me Now.

  1. “Sometimes I wonder if I’m throwing limitations on myself now that I have a better sense of what I can do. When I started running last year, I didn’t know what my body could achieve. I simply ran and was usually pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Now I feel a lot more self-doubt and pressure despite consciously trying not to do that to myself. Yet I feel like I’m making excuses every time my runs don’t go the way I want them to.”

    Oh do I totally relate! Coming back from pregnancy (the 2nd one), I had little expectations–everything was a plus! Now that I see what I can do and have numbers to compare, it’s a whole different ball game

  2. That was my thought – it isn’t ‘not being into it’, but rather fear masquerading as not being into it … so I’m with your husband – go out there and kill it next time!

    As I have said, hills are a killer, and you need to work into them … so keep up all of the strength work related to your quads/thighs and you’ll kill it next time!

  3. I haven’t judged myself by my hill runs, but the after results of hill runs. I sometimes drudge up my mountain, but the next day my pace gets faster. Keep doing what you feel you can, but don’t worry about success on the hills. If you do them you will have success (my humble opinion 🙂 ).

  4. If you think about the effort your putting into the workout, rather than the pace, you may find that the pace will eventually come along. As long as the effort is there and you feel like you’re getting in a good workout, sometimes the watch just needs to become secondary. Another option that I like to do, is to try and beat my previous rep rather than keeping them all at the exact same pace. That may mean starting a little bit slower, but being able to slowly knock the seconds off like that may help to give you a mental boost. 🙂 You WILL get this workout down. You’re out there giving it your best, so that’s the most important thing.

  5. Great responses here, as I read with anticipation (and dread?) about tackling these myself. I won’t on this training run, as I am still recently back from Achilles injury, and hills would just probably get me back there. So while a part of me wants to hit hills, I think listening to my body is probably best right now. If I run another marathon in May, I will probably do hills. (I ran a hill today, having said all that, but walked the second half – it was very steep)

    Fear – well, we know that manifests in many forms – anger, indifference, etc. So I too think that just not overthinking it and just jumping into it may work – I know that is how I get past some of my fears. Good luck on the next round!

    Paul

  6. Sounds like you’re getting out of your comfort zone – which is where progress happens. Embrace it. I used to haaaaaate hill repeats cause they left me absolutely wiped, but no I secretly looooove them. I’ve seen the results they bring, and even though they hurt, I keep reminding myself how I’ll be glad come race day that I did them!

  7. You’re beating yourself up again. Hill workouts are tough. If your legs are cinder blocks, lighten up a teeny tad. You’re tired, and it’s ok. Marathon training is hard, and your body will go through ups and downs, literally with your hill workouts (my lame attempt at humor). If you get the work in, don’t worry about your paces. Plus, the last time I checked, it was summer 🙂 I’m actually surprised you have paces to hit when doing hills…. Anyway, do the next workout… Hills are speed work in disguise and you’ll be all the stronger for it, physically AND mentally. You CAN do this, girl.

  8. TR says:

    I think what you are going through is something very normal. I know I feel like this with some of my goals. Something I noticed about myself re fear and self-doubt. They creep in together into the head and on days where something doesn’t go my way or I am tired. When I have my next feel good day or a ‘normal’ day what does it tell me then. I’m guessing that is more likely true to what you want and your perspective of this. Fatigue and a bad day trigger old tapes in me. I found this out recently. So I now double check with how I think and feel on a ‘normal’ day. xx

    • These are some great insights. I hadn’t thought about how comfortable I am with beating myself up. It really is my default. Being happy about something usually meant my mother would take me down a notch or three. So instead, I’d do it for her to soften the blow.

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