Monday, 14 June 2010

The Wrekin Dark Side with 9kg Weight Vest

I was bristling with training gear on Sunday morning. First, the 9kg weighted vest. It's a while since I donned this for hill training. It's the kind of thing you start dreading if you leave it too long. The dark side of the Wrekin is about as steep as it gets, so truly running up it is a challenge even without extra ballast.

Second, I was strapped up with the heart rate monitor and had the GPS phone in my pocket.

Alas, however, I failed to properly start the bluetooth on the phone, so no heart rate. What I do have is this very cool widget from SportsTrackLive that allows you to replay the run to the top - click the small play button towards the top. Then it's better to zoom the map out a little with the usual Google map tool, and use the forward button under the graph to speed it up.

Allow me to summarise the heart rate for you in words. Slow (before I started), fast (as I started), like a train (the rest of the time), slower (after I had finished.)

Mrs M was around and about on the hill, so I spent another hour mooching around with her, which was still keeping my heart rate at about 150 (by now I had fixed the bluetooth) because of the extra weight I was carrying and the recovery from the savagery of the initial ascent.

Time to top: 22.25
Post run nutrition: A hog roast a couple of hours later at the farm we buy our meat.

and I have several tough, and increasingly long mountain races coming up this summer and autumn. There will be more of these cruel, weighted, steep hill sessions, interspersed with evil Tabatas and inhuman weights circuits. There is no choice but to get fit.


Lightning said...

I will attempt, In my own way, to keep up on the fitness stakes. I'm looking forward to these runs we have planned.

4 Winds said...

Just 9kg! we have an extreme elite breed of walkers down here on Dartmoor who think nothing of lugging huge rucsacs around in stupefying heat and sapping humidity. they scare me.....

Methuselah said...

Admittedly 9kg is not much in the context of some of the packs people carry, but then they ususally aren't running up a steep slope at the same time :-)

What's the terrain like in Dartmoor anyway - I've always assumed it's quite flat, but perhaps there are a few hills to be found?

4 Winds said...

Hi Methuselah,
Most of the walkers down here buy into the myth of Dartmoor as a vast wilderness full of dangers such as bottomless bogs and unpredictable weather and so wear and carry around silly kit to feel safe. In reality it's flat and pretty and I often run in shorts and a vest with no kit. Certainly never seen any of the K2s running!


Steve said...

What's on your race calendar? Wondering if there'll be another chance meeting of the VFF Treks...

I'm doing the Moel Y Gamelin (Jun 27), and the Sandstone Trail Race (Oct 3), plus a few shorter events in between.

(P.S. Got some Bikilas, which I'm loving for road running.)

Methuselah said...

Paul - reminds me of the time my brother and I were overtaken on a mountain in Scotland by a fell runner with his dog, while we battled high winds and snow with crampons, ice axes and other paraphanalia!

Steve, yes would be good to get the feet together again. Looks like being Skiddaw, Snowdon, Borrowdale, Nevis, Full Peris, Langdale. And if we're still alive after that lot, the Wrekin Wrecker in November. Any of those appeal? They're mostly monsters! I saw some Bikilas in the US recently and was tempted. I'm back there in Oct - if you recommend them for flat running I may have to get some.

Steve Purcell said...

Wow, you're not messing about! I'm likely to do the Wrecker, and perhaps the Full Peris too, though it certainly does sound like a monster.

My KSOs died at 1300km, and the Bikila's are a very satisfactory replacement. The insides get dirty without socks, and there are still some irritating seams inside the big toe pockets, but they're a big improvement.

Methuselah said...

Steve - cool, Peris it is. That's going to be a tough one. Then again, Borrowdale is big too. Look forward to seeing the new shoes if you have them with you.