OMG. Took my first tentative steps back into VO2 work tonight with a 'challenging' little hill circuit near home. M persuaded me to do 8x2 min reps on a rather steep climb rather than the 5x3mins I had planned. Was I grateful for that or what. What a shocker. The session was lung burstingly awful. I really don't know how I survived the whole ordeal. I'm still not quite sure why it felt so tough exactly and am hoping it's not a sign of my losing loads of fitness. Despite this my heart rate didn't reach anywhere near my max, which I can't quite understand.
The first 40secs of the rep seemed quite civilised; I was prematurely congratulating myself that I hadn't lost the old knack. This was swiftly followed by severe quad burn at 1min, quickly spreading to a full, lower body burn and general lung bursting sensation by 1.20. I sort of blacked out the pain for the last 20secs of the effort. By rep 4 I was all for giving up and stopped in a pathetic state halfway up the hill. The Yorkshire grit in me then felt the shame of defeat and I pressed on like a proper 'ard Yorkshire lass. I then managed to push on with reps 5 & 6, bottled it again, managing only half of rep 7 but then squeezed out a final effort to finish #8. Tonight was a sure sign of lots of work to do this summer.
I've clearly lost some fitness but tonight's workout is also an indicator of a general weakness of mine; my speed strength & general power. I've always been daunted by races around 5km; this just isn't an easy distance for me. I think my natural strength is endurance, which may explain why sessions like tonight feel so flippin' painful. But, I am pleased to have got through the whole thing in one piece. I'm also seriously impressed by M's strength and power up those hills. This is one session I'm going to have to revisit regularly; working on my main weakness should prove to be a great investment later on this year. God it were 'ard tho. Why do we do this exactly?