We all here how important doing hills sessions as part of a run program is. They help us build strength and power and test our cardiovascular endurance. Plus we know that rarely is there a fun run that doesn’t have a hill or 2 in it so its great to get some hills under the belt in our training.
But lets face it hill repeats are pretty boring. Going up and down the same hill several times is not the most fun way to spend a training session. So here are a couple of variations on how to change up a hills session.
The hill and beyond – The idea of this session is to not just do the hill but to continue beyond the top of the hill. The theory is that when we do a fun run and there is a hill involved we just get to the top of the hill we don’t just stop, we are required to continue on for whatever is on the other side of the hill. So the idea is work up the hill at an effort of 7-8 out of 10, when you reach the top of the hill rather than slowing down or turning back to get back to the bottom of the hill, continue with that 7-8/10 effort for a further 2-300metres. Then do a U-turn and recover back to the bottom of the hill. Try not to stop at the bottom but use the down hill recovery to get yourself ready for your next effort.
Depending on the length of the hill complete 2-4 for beginners, 5-8 for intermediates and 9-12 for advanced runners.
Team Indian Hills – You’ll need a few friends of around similar fitness levels for this one, at least 4 but more than 5 is better. Form a single file at the bottom of the hill and everyone works up the hill at an easy pace. The person at the back sprints to the front of the group and settles back into the easy pace, as soon as they get to the front the next person at the back does the same, repeating for each member. Recover back down to the bottom of the hill and continue with this method until everyone has had a few turns to sprint up the hill. A hill that is long enough where 3-4 or more people can have turn to sprint up is ideal.