Help With Hillwork

Sorry to bother you all chaps, but I need a bit of advice regarding hillwork sessions. My marathon training programme calls for 200m hill repeats. No problem there. I just wonder at what intensity should I run these. My friend told me I should sprint them flat out. Is that right?

Any advice would be greatly recieved.


  • Ripped ask yourself could you sprint 10 of these hill repeats flat out, if the answer is no then do them at an intensity where you finish the last one at more or less the same time as the first one, if you are unsure about how hard to run them, start off easy and sprint the last one.
  • If you run hills too fast you just build up lactic acid in your muscles, which doesn't help your marathon training at all. As Jane says, you want to be able to maintain the pace for the whole session. Remember that you're training for an endurance event so you need to teach your legs to keep going on the hills for long periods at a steady pace.

    I use the "Kenyan Hills" technique which involves running up at a steady pace then turning round and running back down without a break. You keep doing this for a set amount of time (start at 2 x 10 mins and work up). This will improve your downhill technique as well as increase the strength in your legs.
  • I like to do hill repeats on a hilly, but varied course - some long hills, some short, some steep some gentle. The variety may not be scientific, but it does help it being fun. Also trying to be able to pace the climb such that at the top I'm slightly faster than at the bottom.
  • I try and do hilly reps with "fast but fluid" in mind. Not eyeballs out, but hard work and I try to make the last one the fastest
  • Ooh, that's interesting. Apparently I do Kenyan hills too I just never realised that was what they were called! And I always seem to overtake people on the hilly bits in races so it must work.

    Remember to pump those arms!
  • Thanks Chaps. That is a great help. I didn't think sprinting up and down hills was a good idea. Hard but controlled. I live in the S Wales valleys so I do a fair bit of hill climbing anyway.
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