Each month, five great running bloggers and I team up to bring you 6 workouts specifically designed for runners. This month’s theme is hill workouts, so today we have 6 hill running workouts for runners for you to try!
I talked about the benefits of hill running in last week’s post; in case you missed it, hill running will increase your endurance, improve your running form, and train your to run faster while also decreasing your risk of injury. Unless you’re currently recovering from an injury that is aggravated by uphill or downhill running, there’s no good reason to not include hills at least once per week in your training.
My workout is a hilly twist on a traditional tempo run. Tempo runs are workouts done at your lactate threshold, which falls between 10K and half marathon pace for most runners. These workouts improve your ability to sustain a hard pace over distance, which is why runners from the 5K to marathon all include tempo runs in their training plans.
Most runners (including myself) opt for flat terrain to perform tempo runs. However, if you are training for a hilly race or want to add variety to this training staple, hills add in the right amount of challenge to a tempo run. Hill repeats train you to run up a hill at a hard pace, but a hilly tempo run teaches you to sustain an even yet challenging effort over hills for a prolonged period of time – which is valuable if your next race features several rollers.
The focus for a hilly tempo running should be on sustaining equal effort. Your pace will vary as you climb and descend the hills, depending on the grade of the hills and your strength as a hill runner. Instead of obsessing over your instant pace, use perceived effort as a cue for this workout. The pace should feel comfortably hard and you should be breathing in a rhythm of two counts inhale, two counts exhale – harder than on an easy run, but not so labored that you can’t say a few words at a time.
Carly from Fine Fit Day has you running increasingly longer intervals up a hill.
Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama strengthens those muscles used for hill running in between repeats of running uphill and downhill.
Allie from Vita Train for Life lets your route determine the duration of fast uphill repeat for a workout with endless variations.
Angela at Happy Fit Mama knows her stuff when it comes to hill workouts – she just ran the Mt. Washington Road Race straight uphill for 7.6 miles!
Sarah at Run Far Girl‘s workout trains you not just to run hills, but to embrace the hill before you.
I don’t know about you, but now I’m craving a good, hard, hilly run!
Catch up on past months:
6 Injury Prevention Workouts for Runners
6 Upper Body Workouts for Runners
6 Two a Day Workouts for Runners
6 Indoor Workouts for Runners
Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday!
What’s your workout today?
Do you prefer short and fast or long and steady when doing a hill workout?
My area is quite hilly so the first half mile is a slight incline which warms me up. Then there is a slight decline and then comes the 1.8 miles of steady uphill. As I read through these hill workouts, I’m wondering if I should go up and come down in that interval of 45-60 sec instead of going up all the way for 1.8 miles.
But yes, hills suck but I tell myself this only gets me stronger!!! It’s my mantra to get me going up those hills.
Both types of workouts have benefits – the steady uphill and the hill repeats! Hill repeats are best done only once per week. It’s good for the mind and body to have the variety 🙂 And yes, they only make you stronger! Happy running! 🙂
Laura you have the best running posts! Always great information and resources.
Thank you, Jill. Although I can never take credit for this one alone, there’s all the knowledgeable bloggers who are the brains behind these workouts.
What a fantastic round up of workouts this month! I know I say that every month but I think this one is beyond good. Hills are our friends. Every runner should be heading for the hills!
I love the workouts this month! Running needs to get back to normally quickly so I can try them all. Hills are our friends – and your training for Mt. Washington has definitely been inspiring to hit the hills!
I love this round up and I especially love all this hill work! Although I wish I could hike the hills with you and Charlie, I guess I can “just” do your workout instead 🙂
I love all of these hill workouts also! I wish you could hike the hills with Charlie, Ryan, and I also, although sometimes it’s really us hiking and whoever has the leash pulling Charlie up with them 🙂
What are these hill things that you speak of? Don’t you mean bridges? lol
lol yes concrete hills!
I know I have said this before but I don’t run enough hills! maybe this summer I will take the time to go to the hilly portion of my town again. I just get so lazy!
Do them! I bet you’ll like them! They end up being really fun once you get into the groove.
Love running hills and I love these workouts! Awesome!
Thank you! Hills are so fun, aren’t they?
Like I wrote for Allie’s post, I can’t even climb a set of stairs without worrying about shredding all my quad muscles haha! But as soon as I can heal up, then I will love running outside again (and hills).
I think you ran more hills in that marathon than most runners do in a month! Rest up those quads! 🙂
“Embrace the hill”!!! We can have a tendency to avoid them like the plague, but man they make “you” feel so good after completing!
Thank you for the awesome workout links (you and all of your awesome blogger friends).
Glad you like the workouts and hope you enjoy them when you try them! 🙂
Not my favorite workout but I know they are necessary and they most definitely make a difference! Thanks for these!
They do make quite the difference, even for flat races. Hope you enjoy these workouts if you try them!
Tempo + Hills = You’re an Evil Genius. Every month I get inspired by the round up!! 🙂
I love the workouts each month! Especially this month, because hill workouts have so much variety! 🙂