Saturday, July 20, 2013

Up the Hill, up the hill...

It was about two years, and my first run with my new running friend, Krissy.  It was a great run, and we connected quickly and the conversation flowed freely.  As we ran, we approached one of the bigger hills that, given it's proximity to my house, has always been a part of many of my runs.

"I always walk this one," I said, as I pulled up to a walk.

Krissy just kept going.  Not fast, but consistent.  Steady.  Running up a hill that I had considered virtually unrunable.  When we got to the top of the hill, she mentioned having done hill repeats in the past.

"That's crazy," I stated.  "Why would I ever do that?"

Last week, I stood at the bottom of that same hill, preparing to do the hill repeats that Angie had given me.  2 minute climb, 3 minutes, 4, 3, 2 min.  (1 minute running, 1 minute walking, out of consideration of the fact I'm coming back from injury.)

And, I found out that same hill, the one, 2 years ago, I considered a huge obstacle, was actually too short.  I ran up that hill 7 times, rather then 5, in order to make up the total climbing time.

Then this week, another session of hill repeats.  It was a very similar workout, but slightly longer with two 2 minute climbs at the beginning and end of the pyramid.  I chose a different hill, a longer one, and got to it.

And loved it.  There's something incredibly satisfying about doing hill repeats.  In terms of the actual workout, it's very easy to break it down into sections.  You don't have to think about the fact you're going to run up that hill 7 times.  You just have to focus on the current 2, 3, or 4 minute interval.  Then back down.  Sadly, because of the foot, right now, I have to walk down, but I can't wait to do it when I can cruise down, get my leg turnover up, and let the hill carry me.

There's a determination when doing the repeats.  When I reach the bottom of the hill, I turn around, hit the lap button on my garmin, and go back up.  No hesitation.  Just do it.

And the satisfaction upon finishing that final climb.  It's amazing.  Total accomplishment.  It's hard, and it's worth it.

Post hill session, the sweat has partly dried, but the red face has't quite gone away.


  1. I've never done hill repeats though you might have inspired me to give them a try sometime. Just not today - race tomorrow!

  2. I am suprised you have never done hill repeats before! They really do make you a stronger runner. And when you conquer a big hill on a long run you feel terrific and knowing that your hill training is paying off.

  3. This wasn't my first time doing hill repeats, although I never did them until I was coached, so I think I might have done the first ones this past December or January.

    Since starting running again though, I have embraced the hill repeats.

  4. I've only done run hill repeats once. Nearly puked, but it was The Hill of Death on the south side of Fish Creek. I'll be doing more of them, though maybe not that one right away. There are many other hills.

    How does that saying go, hills are speed work in disguise.

  5. Hill repeats on the bike are good too.