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Week 3: The Myth of Kenyan Hills and Practicing Pace

Posted on January 17th, 2021 by

Now that you have a nice little time trial under your belt (or at least some of you do!), we are going to start digging in and working on 2 important elements of any training plan: hill training and pacing.

Let’s start with hills – there are loads in North London! “What if I am planning on running a fast and flat 5 or 10k?”, you ask. “Why should I care about hills?” Well, hill training is also strength training in disguise. Even if your target race is flat, getting in some hills in your runs will strengthen your legs and help with fatigue even over shorter and flatter courses. So, what exactly are Kenyan Hill sessions? Kenyan Hills are interval runs where you run with the same effort up and down the hill. This differs from hill sprints where you sprint up the hill and recover going down. For this week’s session, we will be starting with 2 sets of 10 min. So following a good warm-up of at least 10 minutes, choose your hill (or hills – Primrose is always good to do a figure 8 up and down) and run up and down with consistent effort for 10 minutes. Then recover/rest for 3 minutes. It’s ok if you need a little longer! Then repeat the 10 minutes up and down, and be sure to cool down afterwards. You can then pat yourself on the back, because that is a tough session. If you want to know where the name came from…well…it’s not as obvious as you may think [https://www.traininkenya.com/2020/04/18/myth-busters-kenyan-hills/]

Next up is this week’s speed session where you’re going to need to tune into several different paces. This is good practice for understanding what it feel like to run at different efforts so you can hone into the right pace during a race. The original session is:

4 x {200m (1m pace) 200m (3k pace) 400m (5k pace) 400m (10k pace) [3min rest/recovery]}. Total 4800m

Remember you can always see the approximate times by customizing the schedule and using the pace calculator, but you can also try this time-based variation:

4 x {30s (1m pace) 1min (3k pace) 90s (5k pace) 2min (10k pace) [3min rest/recovery]}. Total 20 min fast running with 12 min recovery

Warning – for some the time-based variation may be a bit tougher!

Happy Running!