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Heat + Humidity + Hills = Hell

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It’s my own fault. Since November I’ve avoided hills with the rationalization that I was training for a flat half marathon. I convinced myself that it was more important to focus on distance and endurance. I don’t need much convincing to avoid hills. I always time my 1 min per mile walk breaks for the steepest elevation changes along my route. Downhill is fine. I’ve got great quads.

As for the heat and humidity, the winter season took care of that. Now both are back with a vengeance.

My last 2 races (5Ks) had a lot of hills and it was evident that I needed to reacquaint myself with those during training. I spent my last 2 days attacking my “North Hills” route while the pollen was attacking me. It wasn’t pretty. My next race is a hilly 5K too.

You would think that I’d learn my lesson by now. You can’t avoid the hard stuff. My hamstrings are confirming how foolish I’ve been. I’m going out there again today, but just walking. I don’t want to stress those muscles too much, but still want them to do some work.
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  • no profile photo CD5500762
    2475 days ago
    Yay hills! I don't like doing speed work (especially on the track) even though I know it would help my running. I do like running hills though! The best part about training hills is when you get to a race and people start dropping like flies and you just keep on trucking along. Glad to hear that you are going to resume training on them!
    2476 days ago
    Hill running will also help your speed. I used to always walk up the hills, figuring I didn't save much time by running them and that after "resting", I would run faster for the rest. However, I don't think that's true.

    If you keep adding more and more challenging hills as you train, soon what used to look like hills to you will look downright flat.
    2476 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    The most important think here is that you did the run, hills and all.
    2477 days ago
    Wow, that's tough! No question, heat and humidity by themselves are killer, and if you add in hills, well, your title isn't far off. I hope you don't do too much too fast. Take care of yourself! I am sure you can get to the point where you handle the hills more easily, but don't hurt yourself in the process. Best wishes!
    2477 days ago
    Hills are really killers! I've tried to avoid the hard stuff too sometimes and found what a mistake that was!
    2478 days ago

    Truth be told, I do avoid hill work too;(

    Sounds like a good personal goal (for me, that is).

    After my last hilly race, I do take elevation much more serious emoticon .
    2478 days ago
    Ugh, hills. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there aren't really any real hills in my part of Florida to train on, so at most, I get the incline training on the treadmill. I still loathe every little incline and dip, but I know that I'm spoiled.

    I pretty much go through the same thing every time I neglect my body weight/HIIT training, by my calves are usually willing to remind me how stupid that was.
    2478 days ago
  • JEWELS571
    I've been told that you should have a day you dedicate to either hill or speed work, so I kinda have been combining the two. This heat and humidity is tough for sure, it can make you question the reason you drive yourself, but all of the above will make us that much stronger!! Good job! Rest those hard working legs!!
    2478 days ago
    I have to go out of my way to find hills. Or parking garage ramps.
    Have fun.
    2478 days ago
  • DR1939
    My cardiologist recommends walking or running in hilly areas because this works the heart more. Same thing would apply to any other muscle in your body.
    2478 days ago
    Yeah, hills. I was training for a hilly half marathon, so I alternated days - one day was distance, next day was a hill. I found a couple of hills around our area, and once I could walk up a hill without pause, I moved on to my next hill. I think I had about 4 hills before I attacked my challenge hill, which was 1 mile long and went from sea level to 750 feet. Yeah, never managed to do that without a pause. But it only took me 3 tries to get to the top!

    Moral of the story - you can do it! But yes, early morning is easier. Or evening. But wear light clothes and some reflective stripe things.

    2478 days ago
    Oh, hill. I'm hearing a lot from fellow runners about how we're supposed to use our glutes to power up the hills, but I can't tell if I'm doing it right. I mean, I make it to the top, but I'm not sure it's my butt doing all the work. And I'm with you on the quads - they could probably do all the work, all day, while the rest of me took a nap!
    2478 days ago
    I hope you walk off those sore muscles. I know that hills can be taxing. The humidity is another story and can be exhausting. Plus pollen is no fun.

    I hope you feel better on your new training program! At least you have cute workout shoes.
    2478 days ago
    Funny... we all seem to have to re-learn lessons. Walk it off... you know the drill. emoticon
    2478 days ago
    Good point. emoticon
    2478 days ago
    Quadruple H for sure -- and hamstrings???
    2478 days ago
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