Advice needed on hill reps

I want to start running one hill rep session a week to improve my fitness. This is part of my training programme for the Dublin Marathon in October - I'm not going to run hill races.

There are two good places near where I live for this. Both are on roads. One is a valley with a hill about 150m down to the bottom, then the same distance up again. The gradient would be between 1:12 and 1:15. I can run up the hill, turn round, then jog/recover down and run up the other side.

The other hill is much steeper - between 1:5 or 1:7, but about the same length.

Which would be a better session - running fast (5k pace) up the less steep hill or running slowly (marathon pace) up the steep one?


  • *Waves*
    Have you started schedule yet Soapm?
    Dunno about the hills I avoid them when I can, which isn't easy around here lol.
    Am sure some folk in the know will be along soon !
  • Schedule starts on Monday - 9th July. Not the best day as that's the start of a 2 week family holiday but I'll just have to try and find a way of doing the essential runs- the LSR, one interval and one hill session at least.

    Hopefully the hotel will have an air conditioned gym or else it will mean getting up early to run before it's too hot.

  • Sorry PQ ! - didn't recognise you from "the other place".
    <waves back belatedly>
  • No worries, I've shortened my name to confuse matters lol.
    I started my schedule yesterday, got my first interval session tomorrow.
  • ( i do quite a lot of fell running and also dip my toe into flm )

    for pure stamina try kenyan hills which you should run at 10k pace both up and down until you can do no more.......break for 1 minute then go to exhaustion again. I do these weekly and for pure endurance building they are great. I use a fairly steep climb which takes 1 minute up and same down..........

    If you want kick at end of races find a short sharp brutal hill ( 30- 40 secs ascent, steps are ideal ), and run them at the end of your long Sunday run........10 hard ascents at full tilt with jog back down recoveries.

    hurts and you see stars

    but i like it like that

  • Thanks StBK, but you're using words I don't like...

    Does anyone have any painless suggestions?

    <whistles hopefully to keep his spirits up>

    Seriously, I know it's gonna be a shock to my system.
  • kenyan hills
    but not until you fall over

  • the thing about Kenyan Hills is to use the downhills as recovery before going back up again
    so you keep a similar pace but use less effort on the downhills, not til exhaustion I wouldnt have thought, a few reps to begin with and increase each time
  • Thanks, I think I could cope with that, not jogging down but running down the same speed I go up.
  • Went out last night and ran 3x5 hill reps. On the way up the first time, I passed a woman walking her dog, and passed her again on the way down, then once more on the second climb. She looked at me rather suspiciously, clearly thought I was crazy.

    On her way back, I was still running and I could tell she was sure I was some sort of madman.

    I could have said " I'm running Kenyan hill reps" but I dont think it would have helped put her at ease !
  • haha - spectator fun : ) smiling through the prismatic effect of excess salty sweat in bulging eyes !

    go dribble on em

  • I went straight into some pretty steep hill sessions last year and promptly gave myself a minor calf tear that I can still, on occasion, feel now. What I learnt from that was not to get too carried away with hills in the beginning - start off with a gentler gradient and don't overdo it, building up over time to the more intense hills. I still do a hill session every week (or two) and do enjoy them. I also make sure I am VERY warmed up before starting off.

    Good luck.
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