I Love/Hate Hills
|July 31, 2013||Posted by The Fit Scoop under Uncategorized|
I used to hate running hills. I thought they were uncomfortably hard, and I didn’t like how they slowed down my average pace (addicted to my running watch much??). However, when I qualified for my first Boston Marathon, I figured I’d better start incorporating hills if I hoped to survive the race. I discovered not only did running hills take my running to a new level (I set some PR’s that spring!), but I found that I actually like running hills.
Hill repeats have been called speed work in disguise because they challenge your cardiovascular system in a manner similar to traditional speed work at the track, but running uphill is more forgiving on your body. Hills are also great for strengthening the legs. If you normally stick to flat terrain, consider incorporating hills – they will elevate your running fitness and by running them more often you will find that you can climb hills easier and that your overall pace on flatter runs will get faster. So what are you waiting for – head for the hills!
Note: This week’s workout can be completed either on the treadmill or outdoors. It can also be modified to be a walking workout if you are not a runner. If doing the workout outdoors, look for a moderately steep to steep hill that takes at least 3 minutes to climb.
Start out by warming up at an easy pace for 5 minutes. Next, add in some 30 second “pick-ups” to help get your body ready for the hills. To do a 30″ pick-up, increase your speed to to about 90% of your top speed over 20 seconds and hold for 10 seconds before slowing to a jog. Jog for 1:30 before beginning another pick-up. Do 5 pick-ups total. Once you are good and warmed up, begin the hill circuit:
– run uphill at a 8% incline for 1:00 then recover by running at 0% for 1:o0
– run uphill at a 7% incline for 2:00 then recovery by running at 0% for 2:00
– run uphill at a 6% incline for 3:00 then recover by running at 0% for 3:00
Next, repeat the circuit again, but this time in reverse. Aim to run the repeats at 80-90% effort and the recoveries at about 60% effort. Finish the workout by running easy until you reach 45 minutes.
Tips for running hills:
– concentrate on running tall (keeping your chest open and up) with only a slight forward lean
– keep your stride short and focus on quick turnover
– look forward, not down at your feet
Make it easier:
– do just one hill circuit
– walk the recovery between the hill repeats instead of running
Make it harder:
– add in another hill circuit for 3 total
Do you love or hate running hills?
What’s your favorite hill to run?
I live in Washington, DC, and like doing shorter hill repeats on Capitol Hill and longer ones on Chain Bridge Road near Battery Kemble Park.