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"Hills are speedwork in disguise." ~Frank Shorter

My husband (and coach), CJ, has told me for months that a hill workout is similar to a speed workout. Hill training is great for your lungs and your legs. As I plan to do a couple of hilly races this summer and one race with one very big hill (the Ascent), I realize hill workouts will become a regular part of my life these next few months.

Here are a couple of hill training workouts he has put on my schedule...

#1: Hill Repeats

This is exactly what it sounds like...you repeat running up a hill. :)

  • Short - 10 to 30 seconds, 6 repetitions
  • Long - 30 seconds up to 2 minutes, 4 repetitions

#2: 20 Minute Steady State

Instead of running hard for shorter distances, this hill workout has you run up a long hill at a steady pace for 20 minutes.

CJ ran with me on one of my 20 minute steady state hill workouts and helped coach me on technique as well.

  • Pumping my arms
  • Picking up my knees
  • And picking up the pace the last 5 minutes


Hill workouts are tough, but I can definitely tell it's a great workout deposit in my running bank.

Do you do hill workouts? What type of hill workouts do you do?

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Comment by Shelley Hitz on May 18, 2014 at 8:45pm

Thanks Brianne!  I wouldn't say I'm "super fit" YET, but I'm definitely in better shape than last year.  Thankfully I still have time to train more for the Ascent!!  Yep...many more hill workouts planned!  :)

Comment by Brianne Pierson on May 18, 2014 at 1:47pm

Hill workouts are key to staying strong for the Triple Crown Series. I actually like them better than track workouts. The Incline Club has some great Thursday night speed (hill) sessions that I plan on participating in after school is out. I haven't been able to make it to the workouts yet but they are at 5:45 Thursday nights. They meet at the bottom of Hydro. It's usually one minute on one minute off for 30 minutes. I think they're only doing 20 minutes right now and work up to 30. It's all about effort not speed. It's hard to go fast on an 11% grade. It gets the body ready to power up that hill we call Barr Trail. They also do 30 minute tempos up Barr as well. In peak season I try to do tempos up to the top of the W's. Sounds like you're getting super fit! Great work!

Comment by Bill Beagle on May 16, 2014 at 7:27am

have to LOVE the hills! Check out the little one I just put on my blog. I'll have another "little" one coming that is good for repeats.

Comment by Shelley Hitz on May 16, 2014 at 7:14am

You're welcome!

And Sean, I haven't done any of the Incline Club workouts yet...hope to make it to some before the Ascent though!  

Comment by Sean O'Day on May 15, 2014 at 9:03pm

Oh, August.  It's just one hill.

And those workouts sure sound familiar.....Thursday IC runs, perhaps?  :P

Comment by Gene Chavez on May 15, 2014 at 7:53pm

The "Hill" you say :)

Great tips.  Thank you Shelley and CJ.

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