Hill Reps on the Roman Steps

Another good day’s training under my belt on Sunday with yet more hill reps.

For the last few weeks my Sunday morning run session has consisted of hill reps. I have usually been doing these on the Caer Gybi Climb just outside Machynlleth, but also did some on week on the Climb up the to National Library in Aberystwyth. In doing so I had managed to set course record on both of these Strava segments, but beating the times I had set was going to be hard.

I wasn’t feeling up to breaking my course record on the Caer Gybi climb today, so opted for a change of scenery and instead did my hill reps on the Roman Steps. these rocky, leaf-covered and muddy steps go up the same hill as the Caer Gybi climb and emerge out onto the same road. It was pouring with rain at 7:30am when I started my hills reps. the plan was 6x 3 min hill reps so I set off up the Roman Steps. It was pretty wet and slippery underfoot requiring a fair bit of concentration to make sure I didn’t slip and fall. Traction was difficult in places, but this was actually all good as it took my mind off the pain of the hill climbs.

I was fairly certain that the current course record was around the 3 minute mark so my aim was to try to do ever reps in under three minutes. I’ve since checked and the course record was actually 2:54 set by Ian Philips, with Jamie Johnson next at 2:58. So off I set up the slippery steps to the top. I was actually overshooting the top of the segment by a little bit just to take the reps closer to the three minute mark, and to make sure I actually completed the segment.

My first attempt came in just under the three minute mark, as did my 2nd attempt. My descents back down the steps were really easy, not only as they were recoveries but because I was taking them very gingerly due to the slipperness of the rocks. I then took off my jacket for the next two reps and stashed it under some bracken, before giving them a real effort. By now it was lashing down though so I re-donned my jacket for the final two reps. My actual recorded times were:

  • 2:56
  • 2:53
  • 2:43
  • 2:41
  • 2:58
  • 2:58

So, I had managed to get them all in at under the target 3 minutes. Now I had to see how much I had overshot the top of the segment by and whether or not I had the course record. As it turned out I was overshooting it by quite a way – maybe it finishes at the gate? So, my actual segment times were:

  • 2:39
  • 2:41
  • 2:30
  • 2:29
  • 2:42
  • 2:46

All of which were better than the previous course record, and the 2:29 on my 4th attempt is the new course record for this segment. I shall have to give it go on a nice dry day in the summer when traction is a little better and I’m not battling against monsoon like conditions.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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