Monday, 1 February 2010

Hill Sprints, Log Rustling and Parkour at The Wrekin

Location: The Wrekin, Telford, UK
Date: 31st January

- Warm up jog, including short, steep hill
- 5 x 15-25 second sprints
- 15kg log carry (half a mile)

Post workout nutrition: none - fasted until dinner.

[Click on the small photos in the main story to show larger versions]

It was cold and crisp as we approached the Wrekin Hill on Sunday morning.

This shot of the hill from afar gives a sense of its isolated beauty, but not, as Lightning and I never tire of pointing out, a sense of the challenges of the steeper ascents.

However, we weren't here to scale the beast - merely to scamper up and down one of her flanks for some interval sprints.

This was my final training run before the Long Mynd Valleys race next Sunday. It's an ambitious target (3 hours +), given that my knee has only managed 20 minutes of hill running since the op - but I have been so impressed with its performance that I intend to give it a go.

To reach the slope we'd earmarked for the sprints, we had to run up Little Hill - about as steep a climb as it's possible to run, but mercifully short. I was pleased to find I still had the old bounce in the legs and was able to dodge ahead of Lightening to take these photos of him completing the ascent . I suspect he was sensibly taking a slow-and-steady approach to preserve his legs for the sprints.

We set the camera timer to capture the start and finish of one of the sprints . The first sprint took about 16 seconds, after which I stopped timing them; but after the 5th and final sprint, my legs were pretty cooked and I'd be surprised if I took less than 25 seconds.

Lightening, on the other hand, seemed to recover better. He was also, as ever, faster. As I've remarked before, our relative abilities are an excellent illustration of the differences in muscle type; contrast the relative ease with which I jogged up the ascent with my lesser speed on the sprints. The fact that I am leaner certainly accentuates that contrast, so it will be interesting to see how things pan out if/when we find ourselves more comparably fleshed...

On the way back, we carried some logs - what Natural Messiah likes to call a 'kill carry' - simulating the effort involved, post-hunt, in carrying the prey back to camp. On the other hand, it was an opportunity to garner some fuel for Lightening's wood burner. I am not clear whether we could be accused of 'log rustling' - but I doubt whether our modest haul will make much of a dent, given the many piles of larger logs that festoon the forest.

For a non-Paleo person, Lightening does a good impression of a caveman, shouldering this monster for a good half mile . My own, more modest log was still a struggle. It can't have weighed more than 15kg, but it's easy to forget how hard carrying awkward objects can be when you spend too much time in the gym .

Here was our final haul: .

I am not sure how this fits in with the Paleo scenario, but Lightening decided to throw in some impromptu parkour using one of the logs. Pretty impressive stuff: .

Finally, on the way home, I couldn't resist pulling over to take this photo, which captures the weather perfectly: .


Lightning said...

"if/when we find ourselves more comparably fleshed..."

If only I could leave the beer and curry alone long enough to loose some weight . One day hey ;-)

Methuselah said...

Or alternatively, maybe I need to step up the beer and curry?

Asclepius said...

Now I am worried about the Snowdon-gig! ;)

Methuselah said...

It'll be a breeze. We're not anal about doing everything as fast as we can and will be quite happy to vigorously hike. I'm nervous about the swim. It's going to be cooooold.

Asclepius said...

If it is too vigorous then you might find that you end up doing an impromptu 'kill carry' with me as the kill.

Methuselah said...


Lightning said...

I'm nervous about ; the hike , the food and the swim ! I don't have to catch my own food do I ? there's not much up there appart from some knarly goats . I'll never catch one .

Methuselah said...

We'll catch it and kill it, you can cook it.

Asclepius said...

There is a cafe at the summit...full of ramblers. Ramblers are edible aren't they?


Methuselah said...

As a less extreme measure, we could always mug them for their packed lunches, but I think we'd be sorely disappointed from a Paleo perspective - in which event, yes, I think we could eat the ramblers themselves.

Lightning said...

The hot chocolate they serve at the cafe is legendary £1.80 a cup . I had two last time I was up . No good for you guys though ;-)

Asclepius said...

Chocolate? Once you guys have beasted me to the summit all I will want is oxygen/last rites!