Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mountain Repeats: key to speed + A Win at Lost Lake 50k

North View Point: the Olympics.  Wow
I have been wearing the saucony peregrine for the past month or so.  Loving them as usual.  This is my third pair-almost brand new.  Cool colors huh?  Somehow they match all my patagonia clothing. 
 I've been doing a lot more hill repeats than ever before.  When I say "hill", I am talking about a 1,500-2,000+ foot climb with somewhere between 700-1000feet (or more) of vertical gain per mile.  The magic number seems to be about 2 miles ascent, and then 2 miles descent.  Repeat as many times as you have time for.  The most repeats I have done are 4 reps on Pine and Cedar Trail (2 miles up, 1,600 feet ascent for a total of 4 miles per repeat) for a total of 16 miles of hill repeats and 6,400 feet of climbing.
On my way to winning the 50k women's race in 5:53 with 8,000 feet elevation.  May 12, 2012
My hill repeats have marked a major shift in my training for the year and in my understanding of training.  I may be on to something, just yesterday I ran the Lost lake 50k with a time of 5:53, just 24 minutes behind the first place man, for a 9th place finish overall (1st female).  My average pace for the 8,000+/- vertical feet of gain and 31.4 mile course was 11:15.  My slowest mile was 16:16 going up pine and cedar.  My fastest mile was on Fragrance Lake road descent 6:32.  This week will be a 96 mile week including Lost Lake race, so I wasn't sure how my legs would feel during the race.  They were a little stiff Thursday and Friday after doing a bunch of hill reps on Mt. Walker (see pics) earlier in the week and a 20 miler with Rob in Port Townsend on Wednesday.  Despite all the running this week, my legs felt great during the race.

I'm doing about 70-90 miles of running a week, for the past 3 weeks, with up to a 1/3 of them as hill repeat workouts.  I've been getting over 20,000 feet of vertical per week.  This means I am strengthening my climbing legs and getting stronger on the descents. If the downhill is a road I try to maintain a 6-7:30 mile pace.  If the downhill is on a trail it can vary considerably.  The fastest pine and cedar downhill mile was a 6:55.  Running downhill on the trail from Mt. Walker was narrow and switch backed enough that the descent was pretty slow, around 9 min miles.

If you are in the Quilcene/Port Townsend area, check out Mt. Walker, it's a great workout!


South Viewpoint, 1/2 mile from the North Viewpoint
I had so much fun running, well, hiking really most the way up the mountain (about 40% running, 60% fast hiking)
Really nice view of Seattle







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