Make Running Hills Fun!
You want a routine that stimulates the mind and keeps a variety in your running routine; if you answered yes then running hills will do just that and more. Running hills keeps the wear and tear down because you are challenging the body to do something different and not running the same pattern, it will challenge and develop your cardiovascular and muscular systems too.
The key to understand is the mindset and strategy to run hills efficiently. Embrace running hills and focus on how your body responds to the different types of hills. Pay special attention to your running form especially when you start to fatigue, don’t sacrifice your running form.
Make running hills fun, but challenging too, with that in mind; below are two (2) mini-workouts you can incorporate into your routine.
According to Runner’s World, here are two training exercises you should do.
Green Hill Repeats:
These are green because this workout is all about learning how to run hills efficiently, like we did climbing that mountain. The mission: To learn to run hills efficiently — easy on the way up and faster on the way down, working with the flow of terrain and making friends with hills.Warm up with walking and easy running for 10 minutes.Run 10-15 minutes of hill repeats. It’s best to find a hill or bridge where it takes you at least one minute to run.
- Rather than trying to conquer the hill by running it hard or trying to maintain a certain pace, run it by effort and keep it at an easy to moderate effort, where you can just hear your breathing (not hard).
- When you reach the top of the hill you should feel challenged but not spent or winded (or swearing). This is the key, as you’ll be fresh enough to take advantage of the downhill.
- Run downhill focusing on letting go, opening your stride slightly, striking the ground lightly with your feet just behind your hips (rather than under), and letting the hill pull you down. Again, this shouldn’t be run at a fast speed; be cautious, as downhill running increases the impact forces on the body.
- Repeat this for 10-15 minutes and cool down running 10 minutes.
Red Hill Repeats:
You can pretty much guess why these are called red hills — because that is the zone you’ll be in: hard! This workout is the exact opposite of the green workout, and it simulates an interval workout in that you follow a hard and easy flow and use the hill as a source of resistance to build strength and power.
- Warm up walking, then run easy for 10 minutes.
- Find a hill (or treadmill) where it takes you 30-60 seconds to run up.
- Run hard up the hill focusing on keeping your stride short, torso tall, looking to the crest of the hill, and driving those elbows back. This is a dynamic interval in that you’re powering up the hill, so starting with a shorter climb (30 seconds) and less time is best for newbies.
- When you reach the top, walk it out to catch your breath and then jog back down and repeat again. Like intervals, the recovery is just as important as the hill climb so make sure to invest in walking to catch your breath. Otherwise you will sacrifice form, defeating the purpose of the workout.
- Newbies start out with 10-15 minutes of hill repeats (up and down); seasoned hill runners can run longer (20-25 minutes), but keep in mind that less can be more, especially when you’re pushing hard.
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