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I’m posting from a little town in the Julian Alps in Slovenia, where I’m preparing for this weekend’s World Mountain Running Championships (more on that later). Not entirely by coincidence, this week’s Jockology column in the Globe and Mail is about how to pace yourself on hills:
… Fortunately, a group of Australian researchers used the latest technology to investigate this question, sending a group of runners out on a hilly 10-kilometre course while wired with a portable gas analyzer to measure oxygen consumption, a GPS receiver to measure speed and acceleration, a heart-rate monitor and an “activity monitor” to measure stride rate and stride length. The results, published this year in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, suggest that most runners make two key mistakes: They try to run too fast uphill and don’t run fast enough downhill… [READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE]
I did the course tour this morning — 12km, with a steady climb of about 1,200m. I suspect that whatever pace I start out at, it will feel “too fast” by the time I get to halfway!