Uphill intervals in Mike Foote’s 20-week plan
Hello Uphill Athlete team,
(I hope I haven’t missed a thread where this was discussed before – couldn’t really find it with the search.)
I’m training with Mike Foote’s 20-week plan for the third time after I had good experiences with it for the 50k Cortina Trail in 2021 and the 100k UTMB Mozart100 in 2022. This year I’m going for the UTMB Lavaredo 120 in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
There’s one element in the plan where I always had to improvise: the long uphill intervals in the specific period of the plan. The plan suggests to spend up to 10% of the week’s training time running uphill in Z3, split into intervals separated by 2-minute active recovery. For me that has in practice meant 3×20 minutes, and the problem is that if I do just 2-minute breaks between them, I’m running out of hill for this workout.
I live in Vienna, Austria, and the longest hill I can find if I’m going at a Z3 pace is, well, about 20 minutes. So if I want to do this in intervals I have to run down all the way, which, because I don’t want to make the recovery a hard downhill workout, takes about the same time as the hard uphill, if not more. That’s basically what I did in the past years. The problem is that if you do it that way, it takes quite a lot of time and makes this a workout that’s not only very intensive but also very extensive.
An alternative would be to drive a bit outside town for a longer hill, which is not impossible, but even if I found a hill long enough to do 3×20 minutes Z3 uphill I’d then have to come down from that hill, which again would take me about the same time.
Do you have any ideas on how to best deal with this? Is my approach (much longer recovery breaks running downhill) appropriate?
Thanks in advance, and thanks for this otherwise very good training plan!
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