Hills!

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Sorry about the little break in posting. I’ve been out of town for the last week in rural Texas, and with the hurricane in the gulf and rain throughout TX, the satellite signal for my parent’s internet was slow as snails! I’m sure you all missed me terribly! No worries, I’ve returned!

So during the little break, TEAM Red White & Blue had three athletes complete some great events. Matt Heisey (pictured to the left) and Zach Keefer completed the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in 28 hours and 45 minutes! If you’re dreading the hill workouts I’m about to suggest, just keep in mind that they ascended 6,200 feet during their run. Steve Burns also completed an Ironman in 11 hours 52 minutes! 140.6 miles in total. Congratulations to all three athletes! I’m in awe and a little jealous of all of you! So when you’re struggling to find the energy to go out for your long run, those dreaded mile repeats, or a hill workout, just be glad you don’t have 100 miles to go!

On to our training! Hills! I ran track and cross country in high school, and hills were always my favorite workout! Everyone hated me for it, but I just loved them. They give me such a sense of accomplishment at the end of the run. And usually you can feel it the next day, which is just affirmation that it was a great workout. They are great to strengthen your legs, and build efficiency as a runner. And you’ll have a great butt too!

There’s really not anything special to a hill workout. You can do them one of two ways. You can choose a hilly course and just go run it, pushing yourself to sprint up the hills, and allowing yourself to jog for recovery until you’re no longer hard of breath. Or, and my personal choice, you can find one big hill and run repeats up the hill. Go out for a mile warm-up then sprint up the hill and jog down for a recovery. Then run a mile cool down at the end. How many hills you choose to do is up to you. I usually do a hill workout in place of a stride or a pace run, and make the total run be equal in length or time to the workout I replaced. So if I’m supposed to do a 6 mile pace run, or approximately 45 minutes, I do that amount of time on hills.

A word of caution, hills are best at the beginning and middle of your training plan. Stop doing hill workouts around week 12 of your training plan. Also, be careful on the downhill. Many running injuries are caused by fighting the hills on your way down. Go with the pace of the hill, shorten your stride, and try not to lean forward or backward. You should stay perpendicular to the hill. For more information on running hills check out this article: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/general/everything-you-need-to-know-about-hill-training/159.html

Next week: Breathing
Happy running,
Genevieve