Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Hills and heat


I've begun to add some hills to my training. Hills are good. They make your legs strong. O' courses have a lot of hills. I need to begin to get myself back in to shape to run uphill.

It will be a challenge. I've never been strong on hills. I run up hills slowly. I run down hills slowly.

I've got a lot of room for improvement.

Last year I worked on running down hills. I think it helped. Running the downhills faster was a relatively easy way to gain some time on an O' course. But, after I hurt my leg last September, I've regressed. I'm really bad on downhills. I feel uncomfortable running down. As my leg strength returns, I think I'll be able to begin working on downhill running again (hopefully this fall and winter).

A couple of hill sessions

Weston Bend has a decent hill for training. There is a hill that climbs about 55 meters (11 lines on the O' map) and takes me about 4:40-5:00 minutes to run. It isn't super steep, but it feels like the sort of hill you face in a lot of O' races.

I uploaded heart rate curves from two sessions on the hill at Weston Bend. Check out last weekend,s session and today's session.

Both sessions were similar. I ran up the hill, turned around and the top, jogged back down, and then ran up again. Last weekend I did five uphills. Today I did six.

Effects of the heat

The heart rate curves give a pretty clear picture of the effects of the heat. When I ran last weekend it was relatively cool -- temp was in the 70s. Today it was relatively uncomfortable -- temp in the mid/upper 80s.

If you look at today's heart rate curve you see the effects of the heat. The "valley's" between going up the hill get higher over time. If you drew a line through the lowest point in each valley, that line would rise over the course of the session. As the session went, I wasn't recovering as well. Another thing you'll see on the curve is that the peaks rise over the course of the session. You can't tell from the curve, but my times on the uphill segments were getting slower and slower at the same time as my peak heart rate was getting higher and higher. I was working harder and going slower.

posted by Michael | 4:59 PM


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