Live near some hills? They’re nature’s best training tool, so don’t avoid them! Hill repeats will make you a faster and stronger runner, because you are fighting against gravity to run up the hill. Since the impact is less when you run uphill, the risk of injury is less than doing hard repeats on flat ground. So whether you are a beginner runner or an experienced runner, you’ll benefit from hill repeats!
- Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running.
- Run uphill at a very hard effort for 30 seconds, then jog back down.
- Repeat 6-8 times.
- Cool down with 10 minutes of easy running.
While you don’t want to head for the mountains for hill repeats, you do want to find a hill that is moderately steep (4-6% incline). For the 30 seconds, run uphill as hard as you can (about a 90-95% effort) and then very slowly jog back down so that your breathing is steady before the next repeat. Don’t worry about pace—the steepness of the hill means any given pace will be harder than on flat ground.
Form is important for this workout. When running uphill, gaze at the hill ahead, not down at your feet. Keep your arms swinging strong, with your elbows by your sides—no chicken wings! Take short, strong steps up the hill. By shortening your stride, you will generate more power out of your glutes and avoid breaking with each step.
We’ve made this one trackable with Runkeeper, with a few modifications. Click here for a workout with 6 hill repeats and here for one with 8 repeats. Since we don’t have hill audio cues (just yet!) listen up for the fast cue to know when to run uphill, and the slow one to run down. We’ve set it so that your downhill is 60 seconds, to allow for a nice long recovery. And the treadmill is perfect for hill workouts—just crank up the incline to 4-5% and use Runkeeper Stopwatch Mode.