Friday, December 28, 2012

Hills I will own you!

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

(Young India, Volume 1, Issue 52; 1919)” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

This week has been magic.  Still working in the base phase, working on strength and endurance, so nothing fancy or outrageous but this week I started to feel the effects of the training.

It started with a long run Sunday.  The goal of the day was to seek out every hill or bump in the road, if there was an incline I was going up it.  I've had a rough time with hills, it just never feels right, I feel like I hunch over and collapse into myself, I cant get the fluid form that comes easily on the flats.

Until now.

I was freaking flying up those things (possibly a slight hyperbole) it felt great.  Even more fun, my coach told me to push on the downhills.  At first it was a slightly manic, on the verge of out of control hurling myself down the hills experience.  It was so much fun!  However being on the verge of tripping myself up (considering its happened a few times on flat obstacle free terrain) was probably not the best idea.  So I started working on a bit more controlled form, and soon I felt like the roadrunner, my legs turning over at an insane rate and it felt like I was gliding.  *Meep Meep* It was a similar route to the weekend before, but 2 miles longer and even more elevation, but I ended up running 15 seconds faster per mile over the whole distance.

Monday was the usual swim and recovery spin.  Next up my first Christmas run!  Last year I was out of the game with a stress fracture, so I had to console myself with lots of coffee with baileys, wine, chocolate and good food....what a shame.  Started out just feeling blah, legs were flat, and the rum filled (so much rum my toungue went numb) chocolates I so smartly ate before my run were not sitting so well in my stomach.  The first 2 miles it was all I could do not to turn around and get back in my robe and enjoy some boozy coffee and chocolate.  They felt mediocre until I turned on the heat.  6* 40'' faster than 5k....uphill.  It was like someone lit a fire under my ass, and my legs just perked right up.  I was gliding up that hill, and just felt the power in my legs unleashed.  

Then came the bike ride, 10 * 1 min muscular endurance 1 min spin.  Muscular endurance, I see that on my training plan and get a little bit excited.  What does it say about me when something that burns like nothing else gets me excited?  The most I had done before was 6 reps with more rest in between.  Ohh how it burned, and this ride came after a morning swim and strength session.  After the ME reps it was sustained power higher than what I had been holding and it just felt easy.  

The theme of this week has been the more power I put out, the better my legs feel :s I'm sure it will catch up at some point, but my body is responding to the little spurts of higher intensity work.  Maybe its the additional fast twitch muscle fibres, and motor units being engaged with the strength training, reducing neuromuscular inhibition, but something has just clicked this week.  My legs have never felt stronger, and at the same time have never been looser.  I've barely been feeling any fatigue after my workouts and recovering exceptionally well.  Heres hoping this continues for a while :)

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