Hill Training

I currently run one session each week consisting of fairly long (4 minute) intervals but would like to add some variety in the form of hill work, perhaps every third week.
I've earmarked the following two hills for my training sessions :

1. Steep,about 100-120 yards long
2. Steady incline,half a mile long

Which hill should I tackle,how many reps and at what pace (10k,5k etc) ?
All suggestions welcome !!



  • Hi DUNC1

    Whilst I have done some sessions where I tackle one hill I prefer to run a route that includes a number of different inclines varying from short and steep to long and steady, both up and down.

    If the hills you've identified are not too far apart (or if there are any other that could be fitted into a route with them) you could work out a figure of eight route (or any type of route really) that incorporates both and enables you to run down them as well as up. Keep a nice steady pace going on the flat and then push it up and down the hills. I do a circular route that includes about 10 uphills and 8 downhills.

    The one thing I'm not well placed to advise on is the pace you should run at. I tend to just go for it. The thing you don't want to do of course is knacker yourself on the first one or two hills (hang about where's my grannie and her eggs...sorry) You'll probably work out a pace that's right for you and you can always vary it according to how you feel and what you want to achieve on that day.

    I don't know whether this helps, but I'm sure there'll be loads of other advice from other forumites.

    Happy hill running
  • RaquelRaquel ✭✭✭
    Hello DUNC1
    I do a regular session on a similar steep hill. After a 10 min jog to warm up and a bit of stretching (a very important part of the session if I'm to get through it in one piece) I run 6-8 reps aiming to finish each in roughly the same time and jogging back down the hill to recover. I find it works for me to think of running strong but controlled for the first couple of reps, though by the time I get to the last one I have to pull out all the stops to manage the same time. I then collapse on the floor for a few minutes before jogging home and stretching again. I should add that i do these reps in a park so there is often the added bonus of being chased by a dog to speed me up...
  • Hi DUNC1

    Just got the latest RW magazine and it's got a small article entitled (something like) Continuous hill running. Worth a read if you haven't seen it already.

  • The most important thing to remember in doing hill reps is to run at least 100 yards onwards from the top of the hill, ie don't just stop at the top as the end of the rep. This is where you can make up the most ground in races if you can push away from the top of the hill rather than having to recover after you reach the top.
  • Running up hill is hard, doing it down hill is a good workout for leg turnover. This type of training can be used before hard intervals on the track or the roads. This will increase your speed as this type of training triggers off more muscle fibres, and makes the neural pathways more eficient. Running down hills is taxing on the quads, as the muscle fibres lengthen under tension, this is called eccentric loadind, its the very opposite to the action of running up hils which is a concentric muscle action.
    I train athletes in Cyprus who do this type of training on the "Train smarter not HARDER" coaching method. A recovery day will be needed after this type of training.

    Try 5 reps down hill, staying relaxed. Recovery will be a walk up, or fast walk up. Make sure the hill is around 200m long.As soon as you are at the top go again.

  • Thanks everyone !!
Sign In or Register to comment.