Hill reps

There is a killer hill just under two miles away from home, and it's just under 1/2 mile in length. The elevation is from 0 to 70 metres according to my OS map. As a 1/2 mile is quite a long way to run up a hill, I was wondering if any of you more experienced runners could suggest a good distance and number of repetitions for this hill? I've never done hill reps before, but I like to be challenged and to work hard.

Thanks a lot,


  • Hi Hildegard,
    as a start and seeing as you've not done hill reps before you could try doing 10x30 secs with a jog back down recovery. If a jog recovery is too much, a walk recovery is fine aiming towards eventually doing a jog recovery.

    If this session is too easy, then up the time to 10x45 secs, with jog or walk recovery.

    When you want to make it really hard you could do 5x1 min, jog recovery aiming to get to 10x1 min, which is quite an advanced session, but something to eventually aim for.

    Good luck and enjoy!
  • Hildey I agree with hilly,

    My hill session are general'y one of these

    12-15 30sec up, jog down
    10 x 1min up, jog down
    5-6 x 2min up, jog down
    Farlek hills
    Pryamid hills

    I've been doing some hill session's on the grass latley as it saves your joints on the way down. Seb Coe used to get his dad to drive him back down!!!
    I've also read recently that you should keep the recoveries fairly steady to make it more of a hard/steady [rather than jog receries] run session. I've been trying this out & it seams to work ok.
    But for now stick hilly's idea.
    You can have a lot of fun with hill session's so don't be afraid to play around with them.

  • Hi Hild

    I like you like a challenge, i would run the 2 miles to the hill as a warm up, run up the hill at the same speed as the warmup and jog home. In the following weeks i would do the same until it feels easy, then i'd add another rep and do 2, but thats just my personal opinion and easy to type on a comp. My present hill training is on a 1/4 mile hill and i do between 5 and 10 reps depending what stage of my training i am at.

    Good Running

  • Thanks for the suggestions. One more question though - how much speed/effort should the up hill bit be? Race pace perhaps? Or as fast as I can go? I suppose that a steady effort is better than one which starts off too fast and then gets slower with each rep.
  • I agree with Hilly's suggestion.
    Don't try to run your efforts too fast - running uphill is making you work harder any way - one thing at a time.

    Don't forget to enjoy the hill (does that sound strange?). One of my favourite things is to run steady but push the hills - your hill sounds ideal for that.
  • HI

    Hills think this:

    As fast as you can = a power session (which is the icing on the cake as far as training goes)

    As steady as you can = strength endurance ( which makes a great workout doing 2 to 5 reps, which depends on current fitness)

    Hills are speedwork in disguise. I love them as they are a challenge. Hills give me speed and strength.

    You can do hill training 2 x weekly for 6 weeks and you will be so much stronger.

    Go on, challenge yourself with one of these options

    Have a good run

  • I way to the grand hill is completely flooded at the moment, as are most of my other running routes, so hopefully I'll be able to try this when the water level returns to normal. Argh!!!
  • With regards to speed while doing hill reps I would advise that you go out and run your hardest for eleven minutes. You should then do your hill reps not at the speed you done the eleven minute time trial at but with the same level of effort. That way you will get to the end of the session and it is very good for your endurance. 30sec reps sound about right at first to allow you to build up your stamina and then as you get more experienced with regards to hill work then you can attempt longer and more reps, great fun!
  • Hidlegard, sorry to hear about the flooding, I hope it'll dry soon.
    There is a little "hill" on 1 of my route I call it "my killer Hill" too. It's not very steep and not very long but everytime I went to the top I was breathless and legless. So now that I am VERY fed up with the Treadmill, I go back to my "Hill" and it seems easier every time I go back. I give it a few more go and then will have to look for a different "Hill".
    Good Luck with your killer Hill!
  • Hey Hildegard,

    Here's a session I would suggest: a fairly standard 10K/ half-marathon session on the track would be: 6x1K at 5K pace, with 2/3mins jog recovery in between.

    You can easily transpose that to your hill (which means you'll be doing some strength work). I would suggest to run the full 1/2M at what feels like 5K pace (that should be roughly the same time than it takes you to run a K on the flat), and jog down the hill for your recovery.
    An alternative is to run this hill 4 times at what feels like 3K pace.

    A hard session, but you'll see the benefits...
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