I have recently started running up here…
First of all I jog down into the valley and along to the right for about a mile and then the climb starts.
It takes about 10 minutes from the bottom of the hill to get to the road which runs along the top, just to the right of the picture.
On a clear day you can see Liverpool from up there.
Then there is about half a mile more up hill (only no where near as steep) and a bit of flat to get to the left and then I come down again just off the right side of the picture.
The whole lot takes just over 40 minutes at the moment, so is probably between four and five miles.
Until November I was running up through the fields and cutting across them again on the way down, but it is far too wet now. It must be shorter that way, but it is harder and it takes a similar amount of time.
The interesting thing is the effect it has had on my running.
Of all the things I have tried out over the years, this has had the biggest immediate effect that I can remember.
Even on the first run when I had to stop and walk four times when going up through the fields I noticed the difference on the way down once I reached the flat again.
I felt so good and I ran so fast! And it is still happening. Not only that, the next time I ran my short, fast run of about 2 miles, I ran 30 seconds faster!
And there’s more!
It is amazing how good I feel afterwards. My legs ache a bit as you would expect, but I feel generally good and on a high.
I have noticed this before to a lesser extent when I’ve done one extra rep in a track session and really pushed it. Hill running is a good strength training exercise, but this is pretty extreme and goes well into strength endurance.
I have certainly noticed how much harder, but more beneficial a hard track session is. This is the same sort of thing.
You may have read about High Intensity Training (HIT). The extreme intensity of the training is supposed to be very beneficial because of the hormones it releases when you are working anaerobically. Using all of your energy and oxygen causes your muscles to shout for help at the top of their little hormone producing voices and your whole metabolism switches over to an emergency mode that results in more muscle deposition, burning of fats and improved metabolic pathways: or something like that anyway.
It is definitely hard work and quite unpleasant while I am doing it, and I approach my weekly climb with some trepidation, but I feel great now!
I was looking at running over the top and back up the other side, but that is for the future…