Race Preppin’ with Hill Reppin’

There’s just 3 weeks to go until the Edinburgh Seven Hills race
With a definite lack of hill training going on here in London, while back in Edinburgh this weekend I decided to set myself a little hill session to remind my legs of the tough gradients and prepare myself a little better for the upcoming challenge. 
Blackford Hill is the 5th hill of the race and the one reached before tackling Arthur’s Seat, the toughest climb of the route. It is home to Edinburgh’s Royal Observatory and to get to the top, from one side anyway, you can climb Observatory Road, a steep and straight residential street that leads onto a grassy path to reach the top. I’ve walked this many a time and during the race itself this is the descent from the top of the hill, but on Saturday I decided that Observatory Road was my hill and I would create a pyramid session around it. 
The session:
1 minute
2 minutes
3 minutes
2 minutes
1 minute
Only 9 minutes in total, but my plan was to push to maximum effort on the climbs and my rest period would be the time it would take me to jog gently down to the start point at the bottom of the hill. 
By the time I hit the 3 minute interval my quads started to burn and I only just reached the end of the road and onto the grassy path that weaved up past the observatory to the top of the hill. I knew then that my session would not end with the 1 minute interval, but a slow climb all the way to the top, which took about 6 minutes in total. It was so worth it for the views though, Edinburgh looking its finest from all angles!
I then remembered the set of steps that, during the race, pave our way to the top from the other side nearer the Braids. I thought it would be good to practice these and *top motivational tip* leaving my phone at the bottom of the steps made sure that I had to complete the climb twice to go and pick it up again!
Steps done I climbed back to the top of Blackford and decided I needed to finish off on a high, so did 3 x 30 second hill sprints on a little grassy path, trying each time to further the distance I had run in the short 30 seconds. Hill session complete! Legs, beasted! A very slow recovery run home!

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