Tuesday’s are the day that makes a few of us in Ultra168 a little nervous – the dreaded hills session.
Around a year and a half ago, we started this session in Balmoral because of its great geographical location. To get to Balmoral, you have the choice of five roads, all of which involve a significant descent down to the beach. The beauty is that they’re great for running up too. Although its contained within a fairly small area, the five up and downhills make up a great 10km course (9.91kms to be exact).
The first hill is the shortest, and perhaps easiest of the lot and they get progressively harder until the last hill, which is a little like the first one. Hill four is the dreaded Awaba Street, otherwise known as ‘Le Bich’. Although quite short in length (650m), it has a total climb of approx 72m from base to top, but most of that climb comes in the last 250m or so where the final climb really bites into your quads. You’d think that coming downhill would be a relief for the legs, but the reality is that it’s probably worse going down than it is up.
However, since we all started to get a little bit more serious about training, we’re now doing double laps of the hills course (some of us have done 3 laps, haven’t they Mr. Vize!?!?!?! – Mentalist!)… and today was the first time I’d ventured into the two lap category. Overall, not as bad as I thought it might be. Vizey and I took it very casually on the first loop, with a 57 minute lap, but given he is now peaking for Western States, he smashed his way to a new PB on the second lap. I took it pretty steady, coming off the back of a slight calf injury, and managed another consistent 57 minute lap.
The legs felt pretty good throughout, and although the effort increases more on the second lap to account for gradually tiring, all went well. The only bummer is that it involves a 4am wake-up call for a 4:30am start. The beauty however, is that you’ve done 20kms of quality training by 6:30am and it’s off to work to hide in a corner somewhere 🙂
Below is a picture of Awaba Street. It doesn’t look much on paper, but believe me it feels like a lot after 17kms in the legs already.