The Kenyans view hills as opportunities, hence why many dominate those in the Boston marathons. They intentionally run hills and once I became aware of the purpose, I now do so as well. In fact, I recently tackled a road race on Wachusett Mountain and Mt. Washington. When I run to and from work, I intentionally factor in the rolling Blue Hill Avenue as I approach my residence in Mattapan. 80% of my races are rolling courses; I crave the challenge and the confidence that comes with tackling hills. Why do we celebrate burning calves, driving arms, fatigued quads and labored breath – for the opportunity over your racing opponents and a stronger body!
Hills ARE opportunities to better your performance and endurance! Putting in some hill work at least once a week strengthens all of your leg muscle groups while you work on both your aerobic and anaerobic levels. Dominating your hill repeats with confidence as you train your body to adopt to turnovers from a fatigued state to push through that last bit to the finish line.
RUN FOR THE HILL and remember what goes up in this case, will go down.
Hill repeats can be done on the treadmill at an incline or on a roadway hill of your choice.
Run an easy run at conversational pace for a warm up for 10 minutes.
At the base of the hill, relax your posture and your breath. Gently lean into the hill, look up towards the horizon about 45 degrees and tackle your hill as if you have an invisible string pulling you upwards. Drive your arms gently, remember to relax, soften your face and breath. Feed your mind positive affirmations, remember the purpose of your exercise and know that the sweet reward is at the top. At the top, do not stop, simply walk or ease back down slowly to start. This is your recovery so drop your arms, catch your breath back and prepare for your next repeat. Repeat between 6-10 times.
Walkers propel yourselves up that hill; walking counts too!
Cool down at an easy conversational pace for 10 minutes.
As you become adept, you can run for time or pace.