I’ve kept my weekly mileage pretty steady, just north of 35 miles. About four weeks back, I figured it was time to introduce some “quality workouts” into the week as well.
The first time out, I simply did about five minute-long accelerations. That felt okay. Not great, just okay. The following week, I tried some five minute-long speed intervals. These felt pretty lousy. The whole time I was running fast I felt I couldn’t get enough air, and my legs felt wobbly too.
Based on my weak response to speed intervals, I figured it was a good time to do hill repeats. Hopefully these would build my strength, and give me a good basis for running faster. The first time out, Ben and I managed four trips up a nice hill. I briefly entertained the possibility of doing negative splits, but that went out the window after the second one. After this, I felt so tired, the rest of the run was a real struggle.
Last week, I did five trips up a nice long stairwell. Each trip was faster than the last, starting with about 1:35, going down to about 1:15. This was more like it. The rest of the run was sloooow, but finally I was feeling like I was getting a little stronger. Then, this week I did three trips up a .45 mile hill. Again, each faster than the previous. By the third trip, I was wondering whether I was going to make it up at all. And on the run back to work, I struggled to keep going. Still, I felt pretty good when it was over.
I’ll take this as a good sign. It will be some time before I can translate this into actual speed, but I felt good about my efforts, and great about the negative splitting.
Piece by piece, I’m getting back to where I was last June. It won’t happen overnight, but if I keep plugging, I’ll get there.