Hill sprints with a view


The hill

Super happy after surviving my first beach hill sprint session

I was trying to capture how steep it is in parts but this photo doesn’t do it justice

Sweaty team photo

Good morning! I had heard the guys at the gym talking about this steep hill where they go to do sprints and how incredibly tough it was for ages. The track was cancelled on Sunday and instead people were meeting up by the hill to do the sprints. I thought I’d give it a try. So on Sunday morning I got my bike out and cycled down along the Bay Trail towards Sandringham and Black Rock. It was really windy, luckily it was in my favour and gave me a little extra boost.

I got the hill and walked it up and down with Sean and Em who were there. Wow, it was intense even just walking it. I was a bit worried about tripping and face planting mid run! Considering my questionable control over my limbs that wouldn’t surprise me…

The hill session is 20 minutes long and you work in pairs taking turns running down to the bottom of the hill (you get the most incredible view of the beach when you reach the bottom) and then running up. The goal is to get at least 8 rounds each within the time. If you get tagged within the 20 minutes, even if there’s only seconds left, you still have to do your run.

Running up that hill makes everything in your legs buuuuuurn! The lactic acid you get is insane and at the steeper points it feels like you’re giving it everything you’ve got but you’re barely moving. Whilst running in those bits all I could think of was the hill sprint sessions led by Stella with lululemon and how she told us to run with shorter strides which gives you more power rather than longer where you loose your power. It really helped.

I was paired up with Em and that girl is just born to run. She did so well. She’s great fun to train with and we took turns cheering the other person on when they struggling the final metres before swapping. It makes such a difference when someone is cheering you on. Eventually the timer went off. I had just run off on my eighth run when the time ran out so we managed to get our rounds. Not too bad for our first session.

I really enjoyed it despite the pain at times. Something else I’ve been wanting to work on is getting my intensity up during shorter blasts and workouts. When doing chippers and longer workouts I quite easily find my pace and find a grind and can push through. It’s during the shorter workouts I struggle a bit more so doing these shorter blasts of intensity I think could really help. I definitely would like to start the hill on a regular basis.

Afterwards we all decided to go for drinks/breakfast at Colonel & Sons in Black Rock. Em ran there and I cycled behind her whilst the others jumped in their cars. I felt like Em’s running coach riding behind her! I had already had breakfast but ordered a tea. It was great sitting there with everyone talking training and of course the Crossfit Games came up a couple of times. By the way, I think it’s so cool a Swede came third. Go Lukas! After a lot of chatting, drinking and eating it was time for everyone to get on with our days.

It was time to get on my bike and cycle back. This proved to be a lot easier said than done. The wind was so strong! The hill sprints definitely hadn’t helped. Couldn’t say I had a lot left to give in my legs. It took a bit longer but eventually I got home. The cherry on top was the slight upward tilt the last ten minutes of the ride. Oooft, spicy!

The wind did not calm down for the rest of the day. In fact it actually got worse. When I met up with Mim later that day we were driving along the beachfront and saw a little kid blown over in the wind! Never seen that happen before. Australia you’ve got some pretty strong winds around here.

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