Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hitting the hills in my guestroom

Elevation gain: first mile and a half
Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

Another rainy morning put me back in the guest room on the treadmill today. As I edge closer to my mid-October race, I'm beginning think about the challenge of running long hills. The first half of the Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor's 5K looks scary on an elevation map, but having run it last year I know that the length mitigates the grade of the hill. I do recall seeing people struggling along the way, but I kind of liked that section.

Last year I prepared for the lengthy rise by running repeats of the hill at the top of the Bethpage bike trail. Four times down and four times back up equaled four miles and a good workout. Now that Bethpage's bike trail is extended north, there are two more challenging hills that I can use for practice. Their lengths aren't anywhere as long, but one hill is impressively steep.

This morning I used the incline feature of my treadmill throughout my run and noted the way it affected my heart rate. It seemed like a 1% increase in elevation yielded a higher response than a commensurate increase in speed. By the end, I got my heart rate into zone 4 territory. Next time I'm on the treadmill I'll focus more on incline and less on speed. That should help, at least until after the race.

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