I didn't know what to do with the weekend run on the "between weeks" of my training plan. I increase my long run 2-3 miles every other weekend so the weekend between those long runs didn't have any specific type of workout scheduled. I do speedwork and tempo on weekday runs already so I thought I'd try hill repeats. I've never done them before and today was my first crack at them. I debated doing a bunch of short (10 - 20 second) repeats up a very steep hill vs. doing a few longer (1/2 mi) repeats up a moderate hill.
I didn't see as much value in the short/steep repeats so I went out to 40th ave, a hill that's about a mile long @ 6-7% gradient. It's the closest hill of any length around the house at 2 miles away. I used the run there as a slow warm-up for my legs. When I got to 40th I ran a half mile up the hill at the fastest pace I could hold the whole way then jogged back down and repeated that cycle 3 more times. I held the times pretty consistently until the last one. My times were: 3:11, 3:10, 3:12, 3:19.
I was really gasping for breath for the 2nd quarter mile of each repeat. I felt like I just couldn't breathe deep enough and couldn't get enough air in. The only downside of this kind of workout is that I use the slow jog back down the hill as the rest interval which ends up being about a minute or two longer than I'd like the rest to be. Ideally I want a hard 1/2 mile uphill then a slow 1/4 mile downhill. I'd run out of hill pretty quickly doing that. It was raining pretty good the whole time I was out running but it didn't bother me at all. I was pretty wet but once I got going I warmed up except for my hands.
I really wish I'd worn gloves today for two reasons, 1) to warm up my hands and 2) to protect my hands when I fell on the side of the road. I was jogging downhill after the 3rd repeat on the shoulder facing traffic. There aren't any curbs or sidewalks on 40th, the edge of the paved road meets the dirt/mud/gravel. I moved over to the edge of the pavement to stay farther away from an approaching car and stepped in the mud/gravel. My foot instantly started to slide. I tried to plant my other foot to stabilize myself but both of my feet just slid to my left and out from under me. I went right down, landing on my right hip and hands. The road is pretty rough pavement so my hands stung the rest of the run. (they're still sore.) No cuts or bruising (yet) but a mild abrasion on my hip. Pretty minor stuff.
After the fourth repeat I headed back with two cool-down miles. I've never tried hill repeats before so I hope they're good for my form and pacing.
4 x 1/2 mi uphill repeats.