10 – 20 minutes
100 – 1000 meters
Hill repeats are tough but rewarding work! Running uphill can be mentally and physically taxing. While some embrace the added challenge that hills present, others despise them. In a nutshell, hill training should include finding a hill of moderate steepness – 4-8% grade is what to look for. Use sites like mapmyrun.com to view the elevation charts in your area, and find a hill that works for you.
Starting at the bottom, run hard up the hill until you reach the top. Once at the top, make your way back down by jogging or walking. Repeat this cycle a few times.
While hill repeats are beneficial to your training, it’s also important to incorporate hills in the routes of other runs. Doing so will help your body adapt to the changes in elevation that would be experienced in a hilly race or run. Remember to always lean forwards when running up or down hills. When going up, get those knees up. When going down, increase your cadence by taking more steps with smaller strides.
Find a nearby hill with a decent climb and run up it hard. Walk down for recovery, and at the bottom wait for your breathing to calm down. Repeat this five times, making sure to stop if you feel like you’ve hit your limit.
As your body gets used to hill sprinting, increase the amount of times that you climb. Make sure to remain cognizant of how much stress you’re placing on your joints and muscles.
Benefits of this Run
Same as Interval Runs: Hill repeats are interval runs on an incline, so they carry similar benefits as interval running. These include: an increase in VO2 max and lactate threshold, improved running form, improved endurance, muscle building, and the afterburn effect.
Increased Power: Your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves have to work harder to push you body up an incline. This added workload builds stronger and more powerful muscles.
Reduced Risk of Injury: When you run up a hill, the impact pattern of forces on your bones, joints, and muscles changes in comparison to running on a flat surface. However, running down a hill offers the greatest risk of injury. Without changing their stride, runners travel farther distances between steps on downslopes, resulting in greater impacting forces on each step.