I’ve finally come to the conclusion that something is wrong. I have been very lucky having the support of some amazing people, so I know it isn’t my training. I’m putting in the required distance, including some hard efforts and generally doing what is needed.
However my big problem is this- I have plenty of engine going downhills or on flats, but as soon as the terrain heads up, my gasket pops and I have nothing to give. It’s a long standing issue, and I’ve mostly been able to cover it by catching up with the group on flat or downs, but it really does need some attention.
I had a small victory on Saturday, when things were a little easier, so maybe Sam Walker was right- overtraining.
I seem to be able to sustain a heartrate of 160bpm going downhill and still have breath for talking. On the flat I can be pretty comfortable at 130bpm running 5:15 min/km.
BUT, put a hill in there and I can hit 140bpm and my breathing goes crazy. I have to stop and wait for it to pass. Short steps helps a bit, but not much.
Here’s a couple of possible reasons-
1. weight. I am a couple of kg heavier than I’d like to be, but I don’t care enough to fix this, and it seems to be an ongoing issue so this is unlikely to be the cause, but being lighter would help
2. VO2 max. I hope to have this tested as it is the most likely explanation. I was an asthmatic child so I’m guessing my lungs don’t hold much or are not very efficient
3. Not fit enough. Pah, not prepared to go there.
I’ll update when I know more!