We’re continuing our weekly workout series with another hill workout that will help you build strength and endurance.

While short and fast hill repeats are designed to improve your speed, longer hill repeats at a moderately hard effort will increase your endurance and fatigue resistance. Improving as a runner includes improving both your aerobic fitness and muscular fitness (both your lungs and legs) and long hill repeats will strengthen both.

The Workout

  • Warm up with 10-15 minutes of running at your easy pace
  • 5 x 2 minutes uphill at a moderately hard effort, with a very easy jog back down in between each
  • Cool down with 10-15 minutes of running at your easy pace

Good form is essential for hill repeats, especially longer intervals of uphill running. You should run with your arms swinging strong by your sides and a slight forward lean from the ankles. A quick cadence with short and powerful steps will activate your glutes and decrease your breaking time, meaning that you will be more efficient in your uphill running. Finally, look up at the hill, rather than staring down at your feet – good posture will help you run faster and stronger.

Easy pace should be a slow, comfortable pace at which you could hold a conversation with your running buddy. In terms of numbers, this will be about 1-2 minutes slower than your goal race pace; in terms of perceived effort, these should be a 3 on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a very light jog and 10 being an all-out sprint.

The hill repeats should be done at a moderately hard effort, or a 6-7 out of 10 – your breathing will be labored but you should still be able to speak in short phrases. Your pace will not provide an accurate indication of work on the hills repeats. Thanks to the physics of gravity, running uphill increases the energy demands of any pace, so any given pace will feel harder running uphill than it will on flat ground.

Be careful on these workouts not to start out too fast, otherwise you will burn out after the first few repeats. If you do start out too fast or can’t slow down your breathing by the time you jog back downhill, walk the next downhill recovery interval.

You can track this workout on Runkeeper with a few modifications here! Since we don’t have an audio cue for hills, listen up for the fast cue to know when to start running up hill, and the slow cue for your recovery. We’ve set it to allow you 4 minutes to return to the bottom of the hill and allow for a nice long recovery. Don’t live near any hills? The treadmill can be a great training tool—just up the incline to 4-5% and use Runkeeper Stopwatch mode.

Check out our previous weekly running workouts here.


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