Z3 Training in a City

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  • #45129

    Hi team,

    I live in a very flat city and the hill I have been using to train on is approximately 800m long with 68m/223ft of elevation gain, with the steepest section being 160m long and averaging 13.5% gradient.

    I have been using this for my Z3/Z4 workouts, but have hit a bit of a crossroads with the Z3 workouts because it only takes me around 4 minutes to climb the hill.

    Would you suggest moving my Z3 uphill workouts (i.e. any workout where the reps are 12+ minutes long) to the treadmill instead? If so, what is the minimum gradient you would advise using on the treadmill?

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    Dada on #45130

    Also interested.

    rich.b on #45138

    Even though this is about mountain running, as is your case Whiteroserunning, many of us do not have regular access for our training. The best I have is a small ski hill with 48 m vertical for 250 m distance, which takes a lot of repeats to be useful. That said, for high/higher intensity workouts I still prefer flat, higher paced intervals or tempo runs. Possibly a bit old school, but I find a couple of benefits: one is that with flat(-ish) intervals or tempo runs terrain does not influence effort; two is it helps me maintain more rapid leg-turnover and the ability to run fast. Whereas the ability to run fast and hard on the flats contributes to my ability to sustain uphill efforts, the reverse is not true – hard uphill efforts do not make me fast for the easier sections of a race.
    It seems you have a good hill for the 4 min intervals, but there can be good reasons to not worry about vertical for longer intervals or tempo runs. Even Kilian seems to be working on road speed these days.

    Anonymous on #45139


    Given the terrain constraints you are dealing with it will probably be a good idea to move thee workouts indoors on to machines. If you are training for mountains you need to get more vertical in your training some way or another. Stairwells in tall buildings are another great tool and they have the advantage of having the down hill strength component built in which treadmills and stair machines do not have.


    Mark on #45140

    Hi Rich, that’s a really valuable insight and I hadn’t thought of it that way. Thank you for that perspective!

    I suppose my focus on the hills is the fact that I don’t have a sustained background of uphill running or mountaineering (i.e. despite doing some fell running about 15 years ago, I have only recently started trail/mountain running again in the last 2 years). But then again, I supposed the emphasis on uphill versus flat Z3 work will depend on my base and physical development.

    Mark on #45142

    Thanks, Scott, this is really helpful! Noted on getting the downhill in my training too.

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