I had to take matters into my own hands and return to hill repeats. Sunday hill repeats are going to be a staple again in my prep leading my way back to the stage this summer.
Hill repeats are my go to cardio because it is something that makes me work harder than almost any other form of cardio.
Short hill repeats
If you are new to hill repeats I would start with four or five reps of 15-20 seconds up a steep hill, then build up over a few sessions to eight to 12 reps. For recovery, walk back down the hill and wait 1-2 minutes before starting your next one. As you advance, you can jog back down the hill.
You can run repeats on a treadmill, if you don’t have a hill near you. Go up to four or five percent incline for a sprint interval.
Weekly hill repeats
The goal is to roll out of bed on Sundays and out to the hill that runs alongside my apartment complex. It’s a guaranteed workout that my body needs.
I haven’t done them in a while, but my goal is 20 minutes of repeats without keeling over and falling dead. Sunday hill repeats disguised as Sunday Funday.
Being out on the pavement is something that makes me feel good in a weird sort of way. It pushes me out of my comfort zone when I am on the hill trying to drive up the hill or when I am out at lunch running along the river trying to control my breath and pace.
Technique for hill running
- Look about 15-20 feet in front of you (chin and neck neutral, e.g visualize yourself holding a softball between chin and chest).
- Stay relaxed. Don’t tense your face, neck, chest, abs or clench your fists.
- Keep body upright with shoulders back and a slight lean forward.
- Keep your arms swinging relatively straight ahead parallel to the line on which you are running.
- Lift knees high and forcefully push off the balls of the feet to avoid shuffling and increase power production of stride.
- Don’t tighten your abs when you sprint because it limits the natural rotation needed to maximize your stride length.
An added benefit…core workout
Sprinting in general is an excellent core workout. The primary function of the core is to stabilize the spine by preventing movement. The abs are responsible for balancing the power generated by the arms and legs to maintain a safe, stable spine and efficient sprint mechanics.
There are many benefits to hill running. The repetition isn’t bad. However, I sometimes have to talk myself through it because there are moments when I want to give up. But I push through.