If you’ve been following this blog lately, you know that the last few months I’ve been running, slowly increasing pace and distance until I’ve reached 5k in 36 minutes, about a steady 5 mph pace.
I also alternate slow, 4.5 mph pace, with a fast, 6 to 6.5 mph pace. I also end the run with an 8mph pace for the last tenth or two tenths mile.
But I’ve hardly used the incline function.
I decided to try it last night. I used one of the preset interval incline programs. I set my speed at what I thought would be a manageable 4.5 mph pace.
The program started out at 4.2 mph with an incline of 4. I’ll call it percent until I check the manual.
It seemed manageable. Then the next interval it jumped up to 8% and the speed increased to the preprogrammed 4.5 mph.
Already. My. Legs. Were. Burning. And. I. Was. Struggling. To. Breathe.
The program went to Recovery, two intervals of 4% incline at 4.5 mph.
But I wasn’t recovering. I was gasping for breathe and my heart rate was between 157 and 162.
The program jumped back to 8% incline and at this point I’m thinking, “It’s going to kill me. I’m going to die.”
When it finally went back to Recovery, I think I was only 7 or 8 minutes into the 20 minute time I had set. I’d had enough. So I punched the pace down to about 3.8 mph, which for me translates into a very fast walk.
I kept it that speed until the next Recovery when I increased the pace to 4.2 mph and after that I alternated slow 3.8 when it was 8% incline and a little faster when it was at 4% incline.
When the run finally ended, I was drenched in as much sweat doing those 20 minutes for a total of 1.41 miles as I ever was running my 5ks.
And my heart rate never dropped out of the 150s. In comparison, I can keep my heart rate in the 140s when I run without any incline.
So lesson learned? Incline kicks my ass and I’ll be making at least one workout each week an incline run.
Go. Run. Try new things.