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Hill Repeats

How i run hill repeats

This morning, I turned off my alarm at 5:05 and then finally got out of bed at 6. (It ended up being a good thing.) I was hoping to do a 3 mile run followed by some hill repeats but I ended up skipping the 3 miles and going right for the hill repeats given my late start. My boyfriend and I had agreed to do this workout together, so I jogged to the bottom of a nearby hill to warm up and then did 10 repeats with him. Well, not technically with him because he’s hella fast. But we started each repeat together. 🙂

  • 1/2 way up the hill – 5x
  • 3/4 of the way up the hill – 3x
  • all the way up the hill – 2x

After each run up, I would walk or gently jog back down and recover until I fully had my breath back. I ended up doing 2.5 miles total, including the walking/jogging back. Brookstown is a pretty long hill for repeats and it gets steeper the further up you go, i.e. it’s a monster. 

I have always had a hard time building muscles in my hamstrings and glutes, and everything I’ve read about running says the best strength training for these areas for runners is to hit the hills. So, I’m planning to alternate weeks between track workouts and hill repeats. Should be fun. 🙂 

Oh, and the good thing about sleeping late? I would have been absolutely beat if I’d tried to run 3 miles before the hill repeats. 

Do you do hill repeats? If so, what’s your tactic for them? Short & more of them? Longer and just a few? 

If you don’t do hill repeats, I won’t ask why because I know the answer: they are freaking hard. 😉 Yes, this is true. I agree. But I also kind of secretly like them because the time goes by so fast! 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun
    at

    I just started doing hill repeats a couple weeks ago after I read Brad Hudson’s training plans. I actually incorporate hill sprints into my training – they are so hard but they supposedly really help to increase your speed!

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      yeah, i’ve heard they’ll help with speed too because they strengthen your hamstrings which improves leg turnover. We’ll see! 🙂

  • Reply
    RLR at Mom's Magic
    at

    My least favorite workout – but I know they work, so I keep doing them. My BRF plans our routes (since she’s actually training for a tri), and lately that’s included a 3.5 mile loop with a short warm up and then a trip *up* Robinhood. Ugh. But I figure since we can do NW and Runnymede without stopping, we need a new challenge. We’ve not been doing the repeat part lately, though we have done them in the past – up Buena Vista – longer and just a few.

  • Reply
    Sylvia
    at

    Hi there! I’m a longtime reader and new-ish commenter. I think it’s great that you’re giving hill repeats a go especially since they’re just going to make you even speedier. I haven’t done them in a while but I actually love them. They are SO hard but I feel like such a beast afterwards. I pretty much feel like the rest of the day I should be wearing a t-shirt declaring that “I just ate hills for breakfast today.”

    Have a good day!

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      thanks for commenting! I always forget that hills help with speed too! I just want the sexy hamstrings. 😉 seriously, I DO feel like a beast afterwards. At work, I tried to work it into conversations all day, “so this morning, when I did hill repeats….” haha 😉

      • Reply
        Brenda Breining
        at

        you should join Twin City Track Club. There are group hill runs on Wednesday nights and we do talk exactly like that at social gatherings (while drinking wine and beer and eating good food). In August they/we are meeting at Salem Lake every Thursday. You can run as far or short as you wish—check out the FB page.

        • Reply
          Teri [a foodie stays fit]
          at

          I actually just joined the track club! Now I just need to make myself get out and join some of the group runs and social gatherings! Thanks for the suggestion!

          • Brenda Breining
            at

            Hash runs are a TON of fun—–unfortunately I think the next one isn’t until Thanksgiving morning. We just had one last month.

  • Reply
    LisasFitLife
    at

    I love running hills. No matter how slow you run up them, its still like doing speed work in disguise.

  • Reply
    Robin @ The Balanced Life
    at

    Thanks for the reminder on hill repeats! I need to add some of these in soon myself 🙂

  • Reply
    Chatelaine
    at

    Are hill repeats just as effective is you feel like your running but you’re barely going faster than a fast walk?

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      Definitely! Anything is progress! As long as you’re pushing yourself! Eventually you’ll get faster – just keep at it!

  • Reply
    Brenda Breining
    at

    I don’t do hill repeats per se, but live in Ardmore and search out the toughest hills (3 of which are at WFUBMC). I run up them whether I am out walking or running that day.

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      Winston is so hilly so it’s not hard to get in hill work on any ol’ run! I love Ardmore. There are some serious hills over there – nice work. 🙂

  • Reply
    Trisha
    at

    I alternate between hills and track workouts each week. I love it! It mixes things up and I feel like I’m improving all around. I go back and forth between running long hills and doing short sprints up shorter hills. It’s always beastly 🙂

  • Reply
    Jewels
    at

    Came across your blog and enjoyed it! I use to do hill repeats in college when I trained for soccer. I have not done them in a while, but I do love to run still and try to pick a route that has a hill or so in it. When I want to change it up I will sprint, jog, sprint, jog. Kinda the same idea if I can’t get to a steep enough hill for hill repeats or if I just want a change from just jogging.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    at

    I want to do this but – how do I find a hill? nothing comes to mind. haha

    • Reply
      Brenda Breining
      at

      come to Baptist Hospiyal—three ‘nice’ ones right there. Or Pilot View in West End—that one is just rotten. Or Reynolda Road across from The Children’s home—you can take Robinhood or Buena Vista up to Stratford (that is where track club practices once a week).

  • Reply
    Kelly
    at

    I do hill repeats at school (UConn). On campus there’s a cemetery and it has a mile long hill and it’s ridiculous to run but such a good workout. I usually do 4-8 reps up, and I definitely see a difference in my strength afterwards 🙂

  • Reply
    Allison
    at

    Ever run up Clover or Pilot View? Killers…

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