Almost everyone starts off with a pathological fear of hills. Which is totally normal. In the beginning running is hard enough without actually having to run up hills as well. But there are few things that will do as much for your speed, endurance and strength as hills will. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Where I live it’s all hills. No matter where you go. Probably the flattest 10km run I could do around here would still be around 130m of elevation. And I’ve really learned to love them and not just because I don’t have a choice!
The thing is going downhill is really, really, really fun. It’s almost as much fun as you can have as far as running is concerned. What you notice if you ever have a heart rate monitor too is that going downhill, even if you are sprinting, your body is recovering and your heart rate will drop accordingly. And although there are so many things to be gained from running uphill there are significant benefits to downhill as well. And one of those things in particular is that you are showing your body what it feels like to go really fast, probably faster than you would be capable on the flat. And your body will remember that and replicate that. Which is pretty cool!
Most people are pretty familiar with hill repeats and a lot of it involves sprinting up hill which can be a bit intimidating at first because it feels a bit like dying. And while I still think you should do that, here is a workout that can introduce you to the fun off hills.
You can either find a hilly course, or just use one hill to go up and down that’s completely up to you and it depends on where you live and what’s available. But the trick is to pick a course – can be 5k or 8k or 10k – whatever you are comfortable with and take it really easy up the hill – walk occasionally if you need to, but just aim for a nice consistent easy pace up the hill and then bolt down it as fast as you can.
Yep! It’s that easy. You might find that you even start to love those hills a bit too.
Now that we have moved, there are only hills around us. Where we used to live, there were no hills – I had to drive about 5 suburbs away to find hills to train on when I was training for the City to Surf in Sydney !!!! While I hear what you say about the freedom of running downhill, I don’t know how much my knee will like it BUT I’m going to give it a try once August arrives and the Learn to Run program starts !
Have the best day !
Today was a timely reminder I need to work on hills.