Hill Training 101

Weekly hill repeats are a great way to increase your running strength in the late winter, which will result in faster spring races.

Find a hill about 600-700 yards long, but nothing too steep. Warm-up for at least ten minutes on flat ground. Begin running uphill at your 5k race pace. This should be a hard effort, but not all-out. As you approach the top, don't let up. Instead, surge over the crest of the hill. Jog back down and begin again. All uphill efforts should be at a steady 5k pace.

  • The first two weeks you should aim for 5-6 repeats.

  • Weeks 3-5 aim for 7-8 repeats.

  • Weeks 6-10 aim for 9-10 repeats.

Swag suggests that instead of timing each uphill effort, keep track of the total time it takes to complete the workout, from the beginning of the first uphill effort to the last jog down the hill. As fitness increases, the total time spent on the workout will decrease.

This winter workout regimen will build the three S's necessary for a successful spring running season:

  • Speed

  • Strength

  • Stamina

To run faster this spring, get stronger this winter.