Friday, August 20, 2010

Hill Work in a Parking Garage

On Wednesday I mentioned that I would be doing some "hill training" by running up and down a parking garage.  I was surprised but the comments and the emails asking about this practice?  I mean doesn't everyone do this?  Well, then it hit me ... most people don't live at sea level and have the option of actually running real hills Jeff.  They do not have to seek out man-made structures to get in the training.  So for those of you that that wonder how us flatlanders find hill here is a recap.

Here is the satellite view of the area that the hill work was done.  Along with the assist of some extremely professional looking photoshop editing you can now visualize what this all looks like:


The red scribbles are the direction that I ran.  Basically the training plan called for a 10 minute warm up run.  Then the hill repeats followed by a 10min cool down..  The good news is that the sides and top 2 levels of this 5 level garage are open to the sky so my Garmin 310xt worked the entire time.  From the bottom of the garage to the top was exactly .25 miles (400 meters).  I ended up doing 5 times up and 5 times back down and for active recovery I would just run a loop around the garage before starting back up again.  The entire workout was 38 minutes and I did 4.32 miles.

Some take-ways:
- Running in an empty concrete building is not very exciting.  The first time up was cool because their is a really nice view of Lake Houston (South side of above pic), but the next 4 times got progressively more boring.
- Houston weather sucks in the summer.  Heat and humidity is part of our lives and we just deal with it - I was unprepared for just how hot and humid it would be inside the garage.  Seriously it was like running inside a sauna.  Except without the creepy 80-year old dudes siting around naked.  I actually ran as hard as I could just to get out of the confined garage.
- Parking garages have some pretty decent climbs.  The first couple of times up the ramps wasn't too hard.  The last couple of times I was really feeling the incline.  Excellent workout!

That is about it.  Next week I might chronicle a bike hill workout.  This usually involves riding back and forth on a bridge overpass!!!  Flatlander Jeff signing off ...

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

26 comments:

  1. this is hilarious! also very inventive

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  2. hilarious. Flatlander... man I do not envy you. We have nice vallies and hills carved out from the glaciers when they were retreating... not to mention cooler temps ;)

    I have to get that in while I can, it will be 10 degrees and snowing before I know it and you will be outside doing your riding and running...

    Creative. Shocked you got reception for your Garmin to be honest.

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  3. Matt - I was shocked too that the garmin worked? My wife has the 305 and her marathon training group does hill workouts at this same garage and the 305 didn't work at all in the garage but my 310 did?

    I did run to the far outside of the garage next to the openings but the overhead was still closed off. Pretty impressive for the 310!

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  4. I went to school in Savannah, GA, where it is totally flat, and the only hill we had was the bridge going over to SC. We had to bunny hop over the metal bridge section dividers. Yeah, talk about boring!

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  5. Head up to Woodlands area to bike. Might as well start practicing those hills.

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  6. I will give you a "10" for creativity! I would have never thought of using a parking garage but then I am not a flatlander anymore! I can't wait to hear about the bike training!

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  7. I used to do this when I lived in St Pete, but I always did the stairs, never thought of using the ramps.

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  8. Wait, you don't have naked old dudes hanging out in your garages? We've got tons of them.

    Seriously, though, that reminds me of stepping out of Hobby, and into the parking garage in the summer. SO MISERABLE.

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  9. I'm a flatlander, too, and have to either drive to find hills or make do with the highway overpasses. The parking garage idea is a great one!

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  10. Jeff, don't forget to take the ticket at the gate each time you run up or they'll charge you for the whole day.

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  11. awesome idea.

    I bet I'll get hit but I'm trying this.

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  12. Creative idea! I'm glad it worked for you (and that there weren't any naked 80 year old men).

    However, I'm going to stick to our "au natural" hills of the midwest :) (not to mention our cooler temps - haha)

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  13. I give credit where credit is do and being creative for a workout, with that being said, dont you dare blog about riding overpass for hill workouts on the bike.

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  14. My coworkers and I got in trouble for doing this. I guess governmental aerospace companies don't take too kindly to random people going up and down their garage floors.

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  15. That is one creative workout! But it sounds incredibly horrible from an interest standpoint. Thankfully I live in Minnesota and we have LOTS of hills!

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  16. You are so smart! We do what we hae to do...great idea for hills:) You could come and visit me...Maple Grove is full of challenging hills!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  17. I know, I am spoiled, I really have to look hard to do non-hill training (but what do you expect in Colorado!) I love the idea of hill training in a parking garage, not that I will ever get bored with the scenery around here, but if the wind kicks in with to much of a bite (or we get a GOOD wind storm) I will have to try that!

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  18. You know that I am your biggest fan when it comes to Photoshop work. Keep it coming.

    I think the parking garage idea is genius.

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  19. It actually sounded exciting in your previous post...now that you describle it = not so much! haha
    nice to have the stats!
    -Derek

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  20. Excellent workout, I have done it in a parking garage once and it was awesome, not sure why I haven't gone back, but I might now!

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  21. I always think of you when I complain to myself about how hot it is. NOW I am going to think about you when I do hill repeats on Pleasant Pond Hill. Much better than a parking garage! BUT like Matty O said, in Jan, I am going to be running outside in -20 with plow trucks putting snow in my ears and you are going to be in comfy weather!

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  22. Hopefully there weren't too many cars using this garage at the same time :)

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  23. Ha ha Jeff! What a great idea! They are building one on campus, I guess I am going to need to try it out. Of course we do have the stadium which is ok too...

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  24. I've never heard of that either, but it makes total sense, and cool that your Garmin worked in there.

    Just thinking of you going over that bridge makes my feet tingle, I reaaallly dislike bridges.

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  25. Clever! I wonder about smells, as in gasoline smells? That would kill me; hate the smell of gasoline.

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