Trail Slope Repeats and Planning

Ooh slightly behind on my running blogging. It’s marking season. Life sort of stops during marking season and I’ll emerge feeling a bit fuzzy and disorientated in a couple of week’s time.

Anyway, I’m sort of sorting paperwork and hanging about after lunch waiting to go for an afternoon little jog. Kath has a slightly sore knee so is sitting this one out. I’m not really sure how far I want to go or where but I’ve got a couple of hours to decide. However, I haven’t told you about Thursday morning’s run yet.

If you’ve been following this blog a while you may know that I don’t like hills. I have always ignored hill repeats if they appeared on a training plan (even if I put them on the plan). I mean, running up a hill once is bad enough, why on earth would I want to walk/jog back down just to run back up? Anyway, on Thursday morning we did hill repeats. Well, we did slope repeats. We used the slope on our sheep loop which isn’t steep but it’s uneven and very much trail territory and it’s a slope I have always struggled on. So we happily tootled along to that slope which starts just after our far field – so just about a mile away. Then we took it in turns to run up the slope as fast as we could and then jog back down. Kath went first and she went all the way up to the top. I went second and I went to where the slope levels before a final little climb. The first run took me 45 seconds exact and it was hard! I was tempted to walk back down and I was huffing and puffing like I haven’t in a long time. But I jogged.

Then Kath went again. Then me again and I think it was faster. I don’t know exactly because my watch battery gave up as I set off. The temptation to collapse in a heap was quite overwhelming but I managed to jog down. Kath went for round three. She’s too bloody fast. She was back in no time which meant I had to go. This was definitely more measured and my legs were screaming at me to stop from about half way. I got there, whimpered, turned round and sort of rolled back down. Kath went for the final time. Then she was back and off I went. I tried to keep an even fast-ish pace all the way up. My legs were a bit jelly-ish as I got to where I’d been turning round. I walked a few steps and decided I would take the last one right to the top so set off again as fast as I could (which wasn’t very fast at this point!) I made it. I jogged down and we walked a little, had a little jog and then we walked home running just a couple of hills en route. 3 miles total. It was a really good exercise actually. It was really hard work but also sort of felt doable. Choosing a slope rather than a hill was a good start to get used to it and choosing trail terrain meant I could practice going faster (rather than slowing almost to a stand still) on an uneven surface. I wouldn’t exactly say I enjoyed it but it felt good to have done it.

Yesterday was a rest day. Today we were going to run several loops with breaks in between but Kath’s knee needs a rest and I don’t fancy going out on my own repeatedly. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow but for today I will just do something which allows me to feed the sheep on the way. We’ve also been planning though. We are going to run the Dirty Double in the Lakes in October. Lakeland Trails does a 15km Helvellyn Challenge on the 14th October and a 14km Ullswater Challenge on the 15th October so we have booked onto those. I really like this idea – there is a race version with a tighter cut off time and then a challenge option with a more generous cut off so you can still do it if you’re slower or if you just want to take it easy, enjoy the scenery and not race. Given these challenges, I suspect I will be doing a few more hill repeats between now and then! The week after we’ll be off to Scarborough to do the Yorkshire Coast 10k there. It should feel lovely and flat after the hills the weekend before!

3 thoughts on “Trail Slope Repeats and Planning

  1. Lakeland challenge! That sounds crazzzy!!!! We are off to the Lakes in Sept and i’ll be lucky if I manage to walk up a mountain let alone run on one! You guys are awesome and I shall be routing for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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