Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hall's Boston Hill Workout AND My Coincidental Dream

I promise that I am NOT obsessed with Ryan Hall.
My husband is PERFECT for me and could totally waste this guy in the weight room.

He just happens to be a super-fast runner who seems to have his bearings straight in a crazy world. (And yes, I think it's cool that I might be there the day an American actually wins Boston again!)  So, lately I have spent some of my research time investigating what he is up to and how he plans to get ready for his next big goal.

Imagine how happy I was when I found this training tidbit for my fellow Boston marathoners! I especially had Dawn in mind, who seems very focused on hills. Also, I thought of Jenn, who won't be at Boston this year, but has been before, and will be training in the near-arctic regions of the far north. I have no idea if there are hills in Minnesota, but I KNOW there are treadmills!

Here I have cut and pasted to save my running friends some internet time for more blog reading:
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December 2, 2010
Author: ryanhall
Newton Hills Simulation Run

The Boston Marathon has some unique challenges that can be difficult to prepare for. So, for those of you training for Boston or just looking for a new challenge, I wanted to share the workout that I did this Monday on a treadmill in Flagstaff, Arizona.

First off, I know what you’re thinking: “Did he just say, ‘treadmill’?” Well, yes, I did. I don’t customarily use a treadmill but many elite runners use treadmills to prepare for a unique course. Having run Boston before, I certainly appreciate the need for Boston-specific preparation. I really enjoyed doing this long run and it went by unusually fast because I was constantly changing the grade and pace I was running, just like in the marathon itself.

Here is the workout:
4 miles warm up of easy running
4 miles at a moderate pace (I go about 65-70% of max heart rate or effort)
4 miles at a pace slightly slower than marathon pace

Then, the following Newton Hill Simulation at the same pace:

  • 0-.7 miles @ 3% grade
  • .7-1.7 miles @ 1% grade
  • 1.7-2.0 miles @ 6% grade
  • 2.0-3.4 miles @ 1% grade
  • 3.4-3.8 miles @ 4% grade
  • 3.8-4.4 miles @1% grade
  • 4.4-4.8 miles @ 6% grade
Finally, 0% grade for a little over a mile at marathon pace
Good luck and have fun!

Link to Ryan's hill workout
* * *
So...I don't know about you, but that looks to me like a killer run! long time on a treadmill for mere mortals like myself. Let me know if you try it!

On a related note, I had a very strange dream following the above discovery.

I have been dealing with a wee bit of insomnia..Couple that with marathon research, training research and the drama of Hall, brain can stir up some interesting stuff. All I can really remember from this one is that I was running. Not in my small town, but in an area I have never ran-  an area I have driven through many times. It was the Western States Trail in Auburn, California. Except it was paved in my dream.

Western States Trail

I was there, several other runners were there, doing our running thing. Up the trails and down.  I had a little loop that turned around at a bridge.

And there HE was, in sunglasses. He was obviously doing an easy run, but it was a hill repeat workout. He gave me a nod. I nodded back. It was all very nonchalant.

Only time will tell if I will have another opportunity to do the "Runner's Nod" with Mr. Hall. But you never know. You just never know.


  1. Thanks for sharing the workout--it DOES look unbelievable...unbelievably hard! Some how, I envision you being able to do it though

    I hope your dream comes true!

  2. That workout looks like torture! But it would make the dreadmill a little more torerable3!

  3. You have a wonderful blog and I enjoyed reading the letter of inspiration from your friend, Cathy, what a precious letter you have to cherish for years to come!


  4. I'd like to try the hill workout, but after running 12 miles?! I'm pretty sure I'd need to shorten that part!

  5. Runners dream ever! I love that you even dream about it. I am so so excited that he is going to be there with us. We need to find him while we are there:) Thank you for posting that workout. I personally really enjoy the treadmill so I can't wait to try it!! Have a great night!

  6. What will you do when you are standing in front of him at the expo, and he makes a comment as he is signing your picture of him, "Hey, you are that gal from Oregon, Elkton, right? I love your blog."

  7. Love your dream! This is so funny how everything you've been thinking about melted into this awesome Runner's nod of a dream! :) Maybe you'll really get that nod in Boston. Sounds like an interesting workout...I've never done hills on the TM but I just might have to try it. Funny how I don't remember the hills at Boston...I don't remember much besides feeling so alive with the many many people cheering you on and all the wonderful energy. I had used a marker being passed around at the starting area to write my name down my leg and it was soooo cool to hear all these people cheer for me! :) I do remember Heartbreak Hill only because my husband was right at the top cheering me on and taking my picture. I'm sad I won't be there in 2011...that was my goal but God had other plans...must be for a good reason. :) Thanks for sharing your dream and this workout.

  8. btw, I thought of you today as we were driving home from southern Oregon and I looked in the back seat at my son with food all over his face and chair...I thought of your last post with the pic of your son and I thought of you because I knew I was closer to Elkton than usual. How far are you from Eugene?

  9. oooh a hall sighting! jealous ;) as for treadmill workouts... it's a victory if i manage a few miles on there, you won't find me cranking up the incline too! lol

  10. love ryan hall too! Such a cutie. Nice hill workout, that would be dreadful on the dreadmill. much better outside. yea!

  11. Running dreams...Unfortunately none of mine have included Ryan Hall. Mine are more like nightmares-ha! Last one I had, it was race morning and I was running on a treadmill on the back of a flatbed trailer while it was going down the interstate. I had forgotten my shoe at the hotel and the driver was giving me a ride back to get it. Apparently, he just happened to have a treadmill on the trailer and I thought I would do my race warmup while he drove...

    Insomnia. From December until April last year I hardly slept. I would go to bed after 1 am and up by 5. I think the adrenaline of running Boston coursed through my veins for 5 full months! I wonder if you are dealing with that! Such an exciting experience!!!!

    Ummmm-I guarantee actually running those hills is easier than running that workout on a treadmill. Yuck!! Oh how I hate the treadmill these days......

    You are going to be SO prepared for Boston! I'm so excited for the feeling you're going to have when you cross that finish line!!!

    Yep-like usual I thought I would keep this one short:)

  12. after reading Jenn's post...i think i must be dealing with that same adrenaline insomnia! i seriously can NOT get myself to sleep at my normal times. i'm usually completely worn out by 9:30, but i can't fall asleep to save my life. its been driving me CRAZYYYY. but i'm not sure i'm ready for 5 months of this ridiculousness.

    OMG. that workout? THANK YOU!!!! so much! i've been trying to figure out how to best mimic those hills and how i could face them before april 18. i'm assuming that 3, 6, 4, and 6 are the treadmill equivalent of the hills, right? and the lengths too? although i have discovered a flaw in my super cheap treadmill...there's no way to tell the incline percentage. like there's not a display number. its really strange. i can see and feel that it goes up, but i can't tell how much...i'm pretty sure its going to drive me crazy...

  13. You crack me up!
    I hope your dream comes true - and maybe the runner paparazzi will be around and your nod will be captured on film!

  14. I love that dream of yours! A paved Western States huh? Sounds like a sign to me! Someday, you're gonna be running ultras, girl... I'm sure you'd be awesome.

  15. Thanks for the comment...not sure how my shoe got so bloody...just rubbed the wrong way during those 26.2 miles. :) I'm so excited to watch from afar when you run Boston! You're going to LOOOOOVVEEE it! :)

  16. It is totally acceptable to obsessed with Ryan Hall. He totally "runner nodded" you. Funny story, 2 years ago at the Boston Expo Brian Sell was signing posters and I may or may not have called him Ryan Sell or Brian Hall. Not my finest moment.

  17. I hope RYAN wins, I can't wait!!
    Thanks for the hill workout. Our little training group for Boston has this series of hills that we do every year to simulate the ones in Boston. You're supposed to start them 6 weeks out from the race. Ours are pretty tough but they've helped each and every year.
    Gosh, Boston just doesn't seem so far away anymore...gosh, now I'm going to have insomnia!

  18. Thanks for the help with the computer stuff ;)

    I gave your blog link to a client of mine who is running Boston this year and she is a huge Ryan Hall fan too!

  19. VERY cool workout, thanks for posting it!!

  20. Ryan Hall is awesome and a great role model :) His work out sounds KILLER! Thanks for sharing :)

  21. Good call on the chocolate chips:)
    I am trying your salad idea...I crave salt all the time, it must be because we sweat so much!

  22. I love love love your long comments! Makes me know that I'm not the only one. You should see the book I just posted on Janae's blog...embarrassing.

    I loved hearing about your pregnancies! What you said about being angry with God really hit home with glad you went along with where you were being led. What a blessing.

    I do think that mastitis might have something to do with tiny boobs being stretched to big boobs. :)

    Did you notice a big difference in your babies and their weights, how lean they are,etc. based off how hard you worked out? Just curious.

    I should probably put dates on my PRs because most of them are OUTDATED! My 1:31 half was 6 years ago. I hope I can still run like that but who knows. My last half (not seriously trained for but more for fun) was a 1:39 and that is pretty far from 1:31. I like what you had to say on that blog of mine. :)

  23. Howdy - they are cutting on the 22nd in the am.

    Stuches - i beg to differ - they have to be that way!

    If you happen to see my muse wandering about in your lands -- send her back to me please.


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