December 30, 2014

Pyramid hill workout

I had hills on the running schedule today. Surprisingly, I don't hate doing them. I generally run them at a slower pace than normal (because going uphill is hard, and it gets my heart rate higher than if I was running at a fast pace on flat road), and I think that's why I don't mind them so much.

Since we don't have hills here, I have to do them on the treadmill. And because I'm training for the Shamrock 15K in Portland, hill training is pretty important. Thomas likes to remind me of this every day of my life. This morning, for example:

This is for all of 2014--I had 9,243 feet of elevation gain, and he had a ridiculous 70,495 feet! 

I set up a hill run on Garmin Connect (the workout that I did last time), but for the life of me, I couldn't get it to show up on my Garmin. It was driving me crazy, so instead of doing that workout, I just decided on an impromptu "pyramid"-type workout. For that, I would run a steady pace (today I decided on 6.0 mph), and then increase the incline every minute by 1%. Go all the way up to 12% incline, then reduce the incline by 1% each minute until I was back at 0%. (No rest between--just a steady pace the whole time). That would take 25 minutes, and I knew it would be crazy-hard, but mentally, a pyramid workout is nice--you think once you get to the "top", then it'll just be smooth sailing to the end.

It totally didn't go as planned ;) First of all, I should have chosen 5.5 mph, but I was cocky and thought I could handle 6.0 with a ridiculous amount of incline. The first few minutes weren't bad at all--0%, 1%, 2%, and 3%. When I hit 4%, it started to get a little tougher. At 5%, I thought, "Hmm, maybe I should just go to 10% and then back down, and skip 11-12%..." At 6%, I thought, "Eek! Maybe I should just do the even numbers..."

At 7%, my lungs were burning. This was only 8 minutes in! I knew there was no way I could go up and back down the "pyramid". I decided to try to make it to 12%, and then call it quits. At 8%, it was all I could do to make it through. At 9%, I knew I was toast. It was all I could do to finish out that minute! I called it quits before increasing to 10%.

All-in-all, I climbed a total of 238 feet over 1 mile. That's tough! But I'm going to have to get used to it before March. My first goal is to make it all the way to 12% at 6.0. Then I'll try and work my way down the pyramid. Again, even though it was hard, I kind of liked it! Tomorrow is a rest day, so that was my last run of 2014.

I got good news today from Angela, the producer of the From Fat to Finish Line documentary! That's the documentary I took part in during 2012-2013 (which seems like a million years ago now) about my Ragnar Relay team, From Fat to Finish Line (that was our team name as well as the name of the film). I haven't had much (if any) news to share, but the producers and film crew have been working like crazy on it.

Anyway, Angela let my team watch the beginning of the film today (just the first 9 minutes or so) and I am SO excited for the rest! She said they have a deadline of January 6th for a rough copy in order to submit it to the Tribeca Film Festival. It's really coming along now. Angela couldn't give me a date of when it'll be available to watch, but of course I'll share that as soon as I know anything! You can watch the trailer here, if you haven't seen it. 

If you missed yesterday's post, make sure you check it out--sign-ups for the annual Runs for Cookies Virtual 5K! :)


  1. So, I ran the Nike Women's Half in San Francisco 2 years ago, and they billed the course as being flat. Um yeah. If it was their idea of flat, I'd hate to see their version of what a hilly course looks like, because there were mad hills since it's San Francisco. Like, roller coaster level hills that never stopped. My cans and quads have never burned that much in my life! Anyway, my larger point is that if I can schelp my chubby, barely training self over all those hills, you'll be just fine here in Portland. ;)

  2. Wow, what a workout! I should probably try to fit some hills into my workout too. I'm impressed that you climbed 200+ feet in one mile!

    I can't believe it's been 2 years since that Ragnar...feels like it just happened to me! Can't wait to see it!!

  3. I am so excited to see this movie. It does seem like its been a long time in the making, but it will be so worth it!

  4. Hills are super tough but totally worth the effort! It definitely feels like you're flying on flat ground after a few hill sessions! Keep it up!! :)

  5. Yikes! I have bad knees so I can't imagine how rough that would be on them. Especially on a treadmill. I admire your tenacity though!

  6. Katie - does your Garmin give you that report? I can't find total elevation in any of my reports. How do you find that?

    1. Jen, it's on Garmin Connect. If you go to Analyze--Reports, then you can choose what info you view. Hopefully that helps!


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