Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hill Sprints

Coach Paul has been displaying some seriously sadistic tendencies recently. Case in point? Hill Sprints. 15 minute warm up, followed by 8 x 15 seconds of heinous all out pain broken up with 1 minute recoveries, and topped off with a cool down.

Nah, who am I kidding, I love it!

Anyway, the first time we did hill sprints I really struggled. I was feeling a bit dead-legged when we started, and I just couldn't push myself on the sprints. So Phil would get to the top, puffing and heaving, and I'd TRY and TRY to push hard, but I'd end up at the end of 15 seconds feeling pretty much normal. I talked to the Coach, and he told me that women often have bigger problems silencing their "central governor" (the officious bystander of endurance racing) than men, because we're smarter and have better self preservation instincts (I'm paraphrasing... just a little.. Coach may not have said smarter....)

Since I have issues shutting up the man on my Clapham omnibus (big points to anyone who gets my loser references in this post!) , I'm trying to take this workout really seriously. Last year, I really felt like my performance at Tinman suffered because I couldn't go all out, so I'm trying to learn to push a bit harder- something I was definitely better at when I was younger.

Anyway, we picked a slightly better hill this time (the steep bit coming into Cambridge from the South) and set off. I was pretty stoked with my first couple of reps- hitting average paces of under 4:00/km (which is actually pretty good- even though it's only 15s, it takes a bit to accelerate). After 4 reps though, I lost it. My heart rate wouldn't go as high as it had been, and I was feeling dizzy and a bit ill. I'm actually attributing this to being a woman as well- it was not just a case of working too hard, and similar things have happened to me when I do weight training and other anaerobic activity at certain times of the month.

I completed sprints 6, 7 and 8 feeling pretty awful, and walked for a few minutes before sending Phil on his way and jogging slowly home. Although the session looked like a fail, it felt like a win to me- I managed to knock out some great sprints, and although I felt like poo, I jogged home without walking again. Another session to look back on when I'm coming around the Mount on the second loop in 6 months!


Rachel Harris said...

I used to think that session was heinous... until he introduced 3 minute hill reps x 8, AND he expected me to get further with each rep!! Sadist alright! :-D

Pip said...

I love sprints. However I do find that sometimes my legs are just too fatigued to enable me to get my heartrate up there. When it works though, it's a beautiful thing!

Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

oooh I am HOPELESS at hill sprints. I really do think that they are something you need to stick too to get better - shame they are so hard though ;) hehe

Westy said...

Nice Work Kate!
An improvement from the last session which is the main thing. The CG is a hard one to beat... feelings of sickness etc is just one way it get's you to stop... just stick at it :-)
It will be interesting to see how you go with the 200m reps :-)