All “I Might Die at Hood to Coast” jokes aside for a second.
I probably won’t ACTUALLY die, but it’s a truth that those inclines pose a seriously scary threat to my flatland legs. I’ve made some good improvements in my hill-climbing abilities, thanks to a few butt-busting runs, but there’s still lots of room (and need) for improvement if I’m going to be any help at all to my HTC teammates.
The good news is we’re still 3.5 weeks out from race day. So if you’ve also been luckily assigned Runner #5 duties (holler), or you’ve got some other hill-climbing task on your agenda, here are some of the things I’ve been doing to make sure I’m not laying in a heap of Sparkle Skirt sweaty mess on the road of my first leg.
– additions to my standard routine, which includes a long run, track work, and a hill workout –
* STRENGTH TRAINING *
GROSS I KNOW. But running uphill takes more work than flat ground (Duh), and quads and butt muscles are especially key for successful hill’ing. I’ve added lunges, squats, and wall sits into my routine. I’m aiming for one leg-focused strength sesh/week.
Sunday’s full-body weights workout. Yes I’m still sore.
* Sneaky Bonus Burn – Wall sits while brushing your teeth is an easy way to include some extra quad work into an already established routine. And if nothing else it’ll keep you from brushing too long.
* STRETCHING as Injury Prevention *
I’m VERY guilty of only stretching what and when something feels tight. Thanks to my past issues with my calves (which led to shin splints, achilles issues, and foot pain) I can pinpoint early-onset pain and take care of it, but it’d be better to stretch regularly and not have to worry about it period.
With the quick jump into hill work I have aggravated them (calves) and noticed major hip tightness, so I’ve been very diligent in stretching, sticking, and giving Brian orders to dig his thumbs into them “until I cry”.
ugly brown carpet is surprisingly great for floor stretches. not surprising? feel-so-good hurt from the Stick (last pic)
* YOGA *
Um combining strength AND stretching seems brainless. Stronger quads, hams, and an IT band that doesn’t feel like a dry rubber band will help keep me healthy and my form in check. Especially when fatigue sets in and my “run” turns into more of a “shuffle-crawl” up that final stretch of hill.
I found a class that fits into my schedule with an instructor I love, and have committed to really making yoga a part of my training again. Wednesday nights are for OM.
reality check : if there was time for yoga on your honeymoon, there’s time for yoga now
I found a good article on why we should make hills our friend here. Surprisingly “because you’re runner #5 and might die climbing for 3 miles straight after 24 sleepless hours in a van” isn’t one of them.
I think I’ll keep hills as part of my training once HTC is over, just on a less-frequent basis. I like how strong they make me feel, but I miss my tempo runs. And following the “3 hard workouts/week” rule, there’s a bit of pick-your
Although no lies I’d trade hills, tempos, or track for Long Runs in a heartbeat.
– Looking to stock up on compression? Aspaeris has their RED Pivot Shorts back – they’re on sale for $45, and with code RUNRED45 you’ll get a pair of black shorts free! Give your butt a hug. –