Thursday, July 14, 2011
Speed Work, Vol. IV: Hills
I believe it was Frank Shorter who once said, "hills are speed work in disguise." Hills are not something that most runners will set out to run intentionally. Most runners, in fact, do almost everything to avoid running them! Shorter said what he did because running hills offers many of the same benefits as the other speed workouts I've discussed. The basic physiology is the same. Hill running, like the other workouts, makes you a fitter and stronger runner. I recommend finding a route with a couple of hills that are 100m or so in length (a city block, usually) and doing a couple of "hill-repeats," or find a rolling course and attack the hills going up. So next time, instead of avoiding hills, embrace the challenge. Most races have some hilly parts. You'll know your work has paid off when you pass others struggling to make it to the top.