What The Hill?

On Hill Repeats and Speed Training

It wasn’t until this past winter that I started to take my training seriously and to add in different types of runs instead of just blindly running. For someone who is just starting it running I would say just go out there and run. But as you take things more seriously and you strive to improve it’s important to add quality to your runs by doing slow runs, tempo runs, long runs and spoke type of speed drills.

Aside from doing fartleks, which I love saying as much as I love doing, there are mixed reviews on how to do speed, or interval training. One of the books I read this past winter recommends doing your interval training on a hill. I used to do them on the Ben Franklin Bridge. It was murder but I got to mix in uphill sprints  and reaped the rewards of some sweet downhill sprints as swell.

There’s another school of thought that teaches you to not do your intervals on a hill, rather, a flat surface. You then decide between time and distance as your fast paced marker. The recommended time is 2 minutes and the suggested distance is 200 meters. Of course, as you progress with your training you are supposed to add more, be it time or distance, to the routine.

Then there’s hill repeats. Katrina and I for the past two weeks have been running hill repeats. It’s right at the Penn’s Landing bridge at Market Street.  Last week we did a mile warm up, and five hill repeats. We did them in the fashion that you’d sprint uphill, turn around and almost walk back down, or slow jog it. It’s hard to properly time these since you are sprinting for a moment and then slowing down your pace considerably.

Last night we met at the same spot with the same purpose in mind: hill repeats. This time we took a different approach. We did a mile warm up, and we ran the same hill but more at a 5k pace. Instead of turning around at the top we ran back down the other side. The intention was to run faster going uphill than down.

We did much better on our times and we both felt less exhausted after. And since hill workouts and speed drills are the most physically taxing we had to stop off at Eulogy for some post-run recovery carbs in liquid form. Which is the greatest recovery,right?

So I’m curious as to how you all train or what method you use when doing hill or speed work. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and how you approach it.


Along with a few photos I took on this run I am including some sweet pictures from a 3 mile run I did while on vacation in the finger lakes region of New York. This particular run was in the town of Watkins Glen along a path called the Catherine Valley Trail. It goes on for over 13 miles so I never got to the heart of the trail but I did enjoy the scenery along the way.


From Our Hill Runs:

From Watkins Glen:


One response to “What The Hill?

  1. Pingback: This Week’s Reasons Why Life is Good | Elliptical Bunnies Not Allowed·

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