I tried to descend another set today. After an out-and-back 2.4 mile warm-up that I was freakishly able to even split, 10:10 each way, I ran over to a hill a few blocks away.
From the bottom of the hill to top it is .26 miles and one section approaches a 20 percent grade. Up over the hill, over a few blocks, back down past the house and over to the base of the hill is a .98 mile loop. If it were shorter and the pounding on my knees wasn’t so bad coming downhill, it would be a great place to do repeats.
I went up in 2:26, 2:21 and 2:02. Why? I realized the other day that the IMLP course has a major hill around mile 10 or 11. On a two loop course, that means two major hills. On a different site, I saw that a “hilly bike course” would have about 60 feet of rise per mile and the IMLP course has 77 ft/mile. Translation: Hill workouts need to be my friend.
What’s with all the descending sets this week? I’m not sure. It is a good way to mix things up. It is a good way to prepare for negative splits. It is both mentally and physically taxing. It is a chance to work on speed and pacing in the same set.
There are plenty of hills to run within two to three miles of the house. Finding them won’t be the problem, climbing them regularly without blowing up my run pace is the challenge.