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The Beauty of Hills


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I just love the results that hills give to my running. No other workout gives more to my running than hills. Want to run fast, run some hills. Want to increase your leg strength, run hills. Want to work on your running mechanics, run hills. Want to increase your mental toughness, run some hills. Want to get in shape fast, run some hills.

Every time that I stop running hills for an extended period of time I start to run slower. I’m not sure why I always stop. Probably the pain that I feel when I run hills hard. The shear agony that running up a half mile long hill at 5k effort can bring, is this why?

When I am running my best it has always happened after running hills once a week for a couple of months. The increased leg strength that I develop and my increase in lung capacity are just a few of the reasons for running so well.

Our running club meets once a week to run a course that is called ball busters. This is a 7 mile course of 12 hills that increase in difficulty. Each hill has a different grade and length. And at the top of each hill there is a flat section leading to the next hill.

I can run many different types of hill workouts on this one course. One time I will concentrate on running the uphill sections hard. The next time I might run the hills and flat section hard. Or another week I can run the whole course as fast as I can. There are so many ways to run this course that I shouldn’t become bored with hills.

What can a person do that lives in an area were hills are not available? Options can include running stairs, hill workouts on treadmills, stadium bleachers. I have heard of runners using beach areas. Treadmills are an excellent way to run hills. A common injury caused by hills is running back down. Using a treadmill you can correct this problem. After running the hill reducing the incline back to zero during your rest period. By not running downhill the landing shock reduced.

Treadmills can simulate most any hill. The length or speed running up the hill can be varied to meet your needs. A good treadmill hill workout could be ¼ mile uphill repeats with a ¼ mile jog. Choose a speed that might seem a little slow at first. As the incline increases the intensity will also increase.

author of Run2Fast


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