After laying down a running base of 500 miles, serious run training (i.e. intensity) can now be safely added to a runners training program. Hill repeats are drills that build runners’ stamina and strength quickly. Here’s a link to an article regarding the specifics of hill training from Competitor.com magazine.
Today I ran with a small group of local (Oracle) runners and we ran hills today… again…why? Because no matter where we run in our little mountain town, we run hills. Up hills, down hills, there is no relief from the rolling, undulating topography. We have no choice but to run hills for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most of us like to complain about our hills; and I don’t know any local runners who do the ‘hill drills’ we so often find in those spiffy half marathon training plans. I think it’s because we’re too tired from running the ‘hills’ we find before us the moment we jog out our front doors. The only place we get to run flat and fast in our town is around the junior high school dirt track. Funny thing is though, most of us local runners prefer the hills to the track…go figure. Even though we love to complain about our mountain geography, lately some of us have noticed that our hill training has made us stronger runners; and maybe even a tad bit faster too…especially when we go down the mountain to run the big city races. So all in all, hill running clearly has its own reward, and it also makes for beautiful metaphors and parallels when we compare the hill running life to our non-running life. Running the hills is not only good run training it’s good life training too!