Friday, March 4, 2011

Hill Repeats and Max Heart Rate

The higher my weekly mileage gets, the less I keep up with my e-mails, blog, and online training log. I'm slower now than I used to be, so running 60-70 miles a week takes a lot of time these days! I just don't have much time to spend sitting at the computer. But I love to write and this blog is my creative outlet for that, so I'll continue to post when I can.

This morning I ventured out into the sub zero temperatures for my hill repeats. These have been a regular part of my training regime and I enjoy them. Today I ran two miles over hard packed snowmobile trails to a particularly steep and difficult hill. It is just a bit over a quarter mile long with a grade that varies from steep to ridiculous. Sometimes I have to walk part of this hill when it falls toward the end of my long run. Today I was ready for it!

My plan was for six repeats, fast up and fast down. So how is a person to recover between repeats if the downhill isn't run easily? I end up grabbing my knees at the top for 3 or 4 breaths, then run down as fast as I can, stand with my hands on my hips for a few breaths and run back up again. I recover somewhat on the downs, my breath and heart rate do slow down some, but it is still a pretty intense workout. My uphills are getting stronger and stronger, and my downhill running has improved immensely over the past few months.

Today my heart rate hit 180 on the last two climbs. That is the highest I have seen it in a long time. I didn't think it would still go that high. It is a fact that maximum heart rate does decline with age. I used to hit 186 in shorter races and speed work sessions, but haven't worked hard enough in recent years to get anywhere near my max. I think I got pretty close today!

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