During a few [long] races last year, my quads were shot by the end, and I often found myself walking down some of the steeper hills.

I’m trying to avoid that happening again this year. One thing I’ve done is tweaked my hill workouts. Here’s my new approach:

– Run hard up the hill (about half a mile in distance with 150 feet of vertical – unfortunately, that’s as good as I can do around here)
– Walk for 30 seconds
– Run hard down the hill
– Walk for 30 seconds

This is a change for me. I used to focus only on the uphill. However, heeding the adivce of Ian Sharman and others, I am now focusing on downhills as well. I look forward to Spring when I can get on the trails and take advantage of hills with 300 to 400 foot asecents/descents.

It’s too early to recognize any improvement in my legs/downhill running, but I’m cautiously optimistic!

How do you run your hill workouts?

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7 Responses to Hills.

  1. Chris P says:

    Great post. I’m always thinking of ways of improving my hill-training. Normally it consists of either a semi-long(6 to 10 miles) run that involves several hill repeats in the middle, or a long hilly run. If I do a long hilly run(15 to 20) miles, I won’t do a shorter hill repeats run that week since that would be redundant.

    On rare occasions, I may do hill sprints instead of interval training. Hill sprints means running up fast and just walking down slow. This of course only trains for going up, but not down. Lately I’ve been trying to see if backwards hill repeats or backwards hill sprints would be helpful. I think this works the muscles differently and in theory may provide some unique benefits. I hope so anyway! And it could be more dangerous if you’re not careful. Good luck with your next race.

  2. piratebobcat says:

    I always try to let gravity take me downhills, but l try to land softly when going downhill. Let us know how it works out for you.

  3. I try to barrel up the hills, and then slowly decline back down to catch my breath. Good luck to you!

  4. Hill training is so crucial. I tend to run as hard as possible up and then run easy down, rinse and repeat.

  5. runsonsyrup says:

    I LOVE hill workouts in training. They make me feel so strong.

  6. Hills yeah! I slow down when I run up hills – especially the long steep ones. But, if I can see the top of the hill then I run at my normal pace. Then, I run FAST down the hills – I feel like a little kid again 🙂

  7. This is a very good point! I usually jog slowly on my way back down the hill but it would be interesting to see what running hard down them does! I’ll bear this in mind for when my ankle is a bit stronger 🙂

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