I placed all my trust at the foot of this hill
Last week as I was running up a rather long and steep hill with the Kenyans we started talking about hill workouts. I said I always wanted to do a workout on this particular hill and was thinking 6-7 repeats would be a good start. Karanja said in Kenya he would run hills by time (he trained under Dr. Rosa with Paul Tergat) and suggested we run this hill for 50 minutes. Of course the jog back is very slow and easy. Still, I was stunned at the thought of 50 minutes but decided I was up for the challenge. We decided to tackle the hill next Tuesday.
The next day I went to workout with the Speed River guys on the trails. It was great to be back doing a workout with those guys again and I really wish I was still doing a track season. Sometimes I don’t want to hear about the track workouts because I feel like I’m missing out on something I want to be a part of but when I do get a whiff of some info I need to hear all the splits. Some of the workouts the group has been doing are phenomenal and I’m really looking forward to watching their races in Europe over the next month (Hilary just ran 4:07 in NYC). Before Europe there is one more race in London, ON and I decided I’d like to help out Destroyer in the 5000m. My plan is pace him through 3000m which might be a stretch for me seeing as that its been three months since my last track workout. At worst I figure I can help him through 2km.
That brings me to this morning’s hill workout. When I described to Yorke what hill we would be running up he said “oh, the Juggernaut”, the hill has a name. Karanja’s achilles was sore which meant it was just Josephat and I at the bottom of the hill about to begin the workout (as usual Josephat was wearing two pairs of pants, singlet, long sleeve and jacket). To be sure I asked “50 minutes?”. Josephat replied , “no, 30 minutes will be enough.” I was glad to hear that and became more confident about making it back home in one piece. So we worked that hill 9 times over and that was a good workout even though we only covered 7km in 31 minutes.
Pictures never do hills justice… here is a view of a section of the Juggernaut (~400m long in total). You can’t see the top, which may be a good thing when you’re actually running up it.
Tergat’s long time coach, Dr. Gabriel Rosa, suggests that training at higher elevations is valuable, as is training on hills. “Somebody who always runs on the flat will after some time lose his strength.”
The World Cup is back on and I have been watching some of the matches. I haven’t picked a team to cheer for yet but I’m leaning towards the US for two reasons. The first, my family is from the US. The second reason is that with all the mini flags flying out of cars to support teams there are very few, (if any?), US flags. I see a ton of Brazilian, Spanish, English, Portuguese and Italian flags but no love for our closest neighbour. I’m not really surprised but I still find it quite fascinating that no one likes the states.