Monday, 28 February 2011

Hill Training

Brian (My Work colleague and regular Running Partner) and myself met up for the first time this Sunday morning with our Dailymile friend Tim.

It was a glorious morning and the perfect opportunity to get some proper hill training in. Tim is quite a veteran on the hills in this part of Surrey. Brian himself has done some hill work recently and me....A hill newbie!

I've been doing some more hillier runs local to work but nothing compared to what we took on here today.

The main reasons for wanting to get some serious hill running into my training is a) To become a better runner, and b) I am competing in my first Marathon this year, the Farnham Pilgrims Marathon.

The Marathon course takes in part of the route we were running, so it is a bonus being local and to be able to train in the area. The terrain is made up of a number of sandy trails and plenty of steep ups and downs, so this Marathon is not a race to be setting PB's.

After meeting and having a quick chat with Tim, we all made our way along side the River Wey and along the Shalford Road before cutting into more Rural scenery and taking the Pilgrims Way. From here on, underfoot went from tarmac to winding, steadily climbing trails.

By now the route was fast becoming steeper and it wasn't long before we came to the ultimate of hills. The hill leading to St Martha's Church is steep! Now I know I'm a newbie to Hill Training (or a St Martha's Virgin as Tim would call me!) but I can assure you, and any locals reading this can confirm, St Martha's hill is pretty Hardcore!

St Martha's Church

It seemed Brian and Tim with little effort made the climb, but for me, it was the first time I have ever walked while on a run. The Lactic Acid flushed through my legs like a Tsunami! and I was reduced to walk the last third of the hill.

Views from Top of St Martha's

After a short photo stop at the top of the hill we made our way down and then progressively back up the hill from the other side. This time the climb was more stretched out and my legs had become a little more used to the new terrain they were experiencing today. Actually from then on and for the rest of the run our collective pace picked up as we head back into Guildford Town Centre finishing at a decent pace.

Me,Tim and Brian at St Martha's

Sadly we were too early for a deserved pint in the nearby Pub, one we'll save for next time.

Over the run we had climbed somewhere in the region of 280 metres, so I think this counts as proper hill training and put into perspective for me just what hill training really is. I really enjoyed this type of training, I've got so used to running along a flat canal towpath that this was just what I needed to give my training schedule a shake up. This run with the guys will definitely become a regular event, as well as putting in weekly hill runs in between on trails near to home.

Google Map and Elevation (Click image to enlarge)
Hopefully come September and the Farnham Pilgrims Marathon, I will be able to handle these hills with ease. :)

The Route (Click image to enlarge)



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