Thursday, September 18, 2008

i love the hills, and the hills love me

the experts at tote hill training and all of its benefits.

The obvious benefit to hill training is that you become better at running hills. But what might not be as obvious is that you become better at running on flat land too. The muscle groups used to get over the hills are the same groups used in sprinting, so by running the hills you are enhancing your speed by building strength. This effect also increases the frequency and length of your stride, both of which are very important aspects of speed. In addition, by strengtheing your leg muscles, hill training helps to reduce injuries.

translation: hills can transform you into a stronger, faster runner. sweet. but tell me that during a long run and i've got a serious hill to climb, right? hills can be so daunting.

i have a serious mental challenge when it comes to hills. i know my breathing is going to get faster, my muscles burn is going to increase, and i'm just going to feel super uncomfortable as i climb. i have discovered, however, that after the hill, the discomfort eventually goes away and the mental boost it is replaced with far surpasses any level of discomfort i've experienced. so in essence: buck up sweetie, it'll be over soon.

in many of our races this fall, there will be hills ... inclines if you will. :) so maybe here's a reminder to get out and train on 'em a little so that our PRs can move that much closer within reach.


  1. so i won't get in trouble this year for powering up the hill in SF? i got in trouble last time.

    however, i would add to be careful while training on hills and not do too much too soon because, although they can reduce injuries, you can injure yourself while hill training...especially if you have knee problems. just take it slow...

  2. I love hills. Yeah, they get hard--like going up that last big hill at Nike. My advice for running hills--don't stop when you get to the top of the hill. The instinct is to get to the top of the hill and want to walk since you just worked so hard and need a break. But leveling out or heading back down the hill IS your break, so don't stop running! It will feel easier once you stop going up even if you keep running!