Hills. The sound of that word makes most runners cringe. But, Hill workouts don’t have to be that bad and can really help you gain strength and endurance for not only hills, but the flats to! As spring comes in and we grow closer to summer, both track races and road races will start to become a more frequent event. Most people think that track is all flat and therefore there is no need to do hill work….right? Wrong. When you go up a hill with speed, it increases your leg, arm and core muscle strength, which makes it easier to run on hills and flats as well as giving you a bit of speed. When you do hills during the track season, or in preparation for a road race, it makes the track or road easier because it is flat and you have been running up hills. Another benefit of hill running is the high calorie burning that comes along with it. Due to the resistance and muscles that your body is using to go up the hill it allows for a different type of caloric burn – one that would continue throughout the day and night. This is all apart of working muscles, gaining strength, and all while incorporating speed!
Here is my go to hill workout:
1) FIND A HILL!!!! (Not a little bump in your yard)
2) Warm up – A good and easy 1.5 to 2 mile run
3) 3 sets of 45 second, 6:30 Minute Pace (or whatever you can do to get your heart rate up and really feel it)
4) The cool down will be the slow jog on the way down from the hill.
5) 3 sets of 30 second, 6:00 minute pace.
6) 3 sets of 15 second, 5:50 minute pace.
7) YOUR DONE! Cool down with an easy 2-3 miles!
8) Reward yourself with some good stretching and core!