Half-mile hill repeats with a side of high school training log nostalgia.
I creaked out of bed this morning for eight repeats of a hill in my neighborhood. The entire section is just over a half-mile long and it’s a mix of flat regions with mild climbs.
Yeah, so, not very extreme on the grade, but nice for longer stuff.
I’ve been doing repeats here since high school, so it’s a useful stretch for speed workouts and consistency.
My times on the first two repeats were slower than I wanted them to be, so I decided to ignore the watch on the remaining six as long as I could keep my total repeat + recovery time below 7:30, which would push the entire 7.5 miles of repeat + recovery into long tempo territory. I could be satisfied with that.
Afterward, I checked out my half-mile splits (I took them anyway, even though I knew I didn’t want to look at them yet. Figured it would keep my effort more honest if I knew data would exist, even if I didn’t want to mess with my head by checking it during the workout). Per my usual, it looked as though I’d used the first two repeats as warm-ups and then proceeded to get faster over the course of the rest of the workout, chewing down into 3:10 range. Not amazing but also not bad, considering the stretch has some decent climbs.
Guess I’ll put this down in my training log as a combination hill-tempo workout.
Speaking of training logs, I just picked up my oldest one from high school and starting flipping through it.
How do you log your workouts, and what do you track?
I primarily use my log to track training volume and injuries. Due to cheapness and the craziness it could induce, I don’t have a Garmin or anything fancy. So I estimate mileage based on minutes, and only write down paces if I’m on the track, a treadmill, or a familiar route where I know mile markers. I also chronicle almost any little random ache or pain, just to make sure it isn’t morphing into more. Weather might get a mention. Often I’ll write down a word or two about how I felt about the workout. Pretty standard stuff.
Anyway, back to my first training logs. Hilarious. My first ever entry in a training log was for a hill workout the cross country team did in October of 2002. I was a sophomore in high school. Looking back through the entries, it appears that I routinely ate candy bars before practice. In this one, we see me bragging about winning the first four hills and then drawing up a list of excuses for why I didn’t follow through on the last two. Oops.
Fast forward to now. My handwriting has gotten smaller, and I now cram all seven days of the week into one page and tally running mileage, rowing kilometerage, and circuits (c) in the margins, to make the weekly add-ups easier.
My apologies: let’s just say my webcam never won any awards for picture quality, and I never won any awards for penmanship.
Do you ever look back at your old training logs? I find them truly useful for tracking injury patterns.
And there’s also tons of comical value, in my case.
There was actually a lot of really golden stuff that’s too illegible to bother screenshotting, but the most hysterical entries either involve insults to my rivals on other teams…
“_____ whines like a baby in every newspaper interview about all her excuses and she better get ready to whine some more because she is going DOWN tomorrow! GO ELXC!”
…or random sightings of cross country boys I had crushes on back in the day:
“Saw _______ on the sidelines during State Open and ran a FAST SURGE after I passed by him, it sounded like he was cheering for me!”
Ah, what focus I had as a youth. Tweaks the ol’ heartstrings.