Let’s talk about hills

Hills are a runner’s friend.

What are the benefits of hill running?

  • They build stamina
  • They build strength and endurance
  • The help with overall fitness
  • They are a form of sprint training like no other
  • AND the most important thing, when we come to a hill in a race we are prepared!

Hills are our friends.

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They teach us how strong we are. How good is it to get to the top of a hill and realise that we ran up it?  It’s amazing!

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Hills give us wings.  Hill running helps us to believe in ourselves.

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The feeling of mightiness we get at the top of a hill can’t be obtained any other way.

Wednesday night is hill repeat night for Pauly, Louise and I.  We’ve been doing them for months and months now.  I started doing hill repeats as part of my 2013 Point to Pinnacle training this very week last year.  Why this week?  This week is the first official training week of P2P.  Unlike this time last year I was doing these hill repeats on my own.  Pauly was in the middle of calving and Louise was just starting to talk to us about maybe joining us on a fun run.  What a difference a year makes.  The hill I chose last year was a longer hill in distance but with slightly less incline.  The hill that we run up and down now is much steeper and shorter.  I learnt from our wonderful Coach that it’s the incline and the intensity that give us the edge.  That putting in long kms of hill repeats isn’t necessary.  A short sharp session of hill repeats mixed in with an undulating longer run and a tempo session during the week are quite enough to get us to peak fitness for P2P. Add in a couple of cross training sessions and we are on track.  I find myself in the first week of training but in honesty if I scan down the training plan, I’m more at week eight.  How amazing is that? 

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The altitude of our hill repeats tonight – all up 5kms.

And who do I have to thank for this?  The hills.  The hills that Pauly, Louise and I run up and down each week.  That long undulating run that is peppered with inclines of varying intensities that Louise and I do each week.  I have hills to thank for my running fitness.  Thank you hills!

I am a hill runner I can run up hills, I am a hill runner I can run up hills is my favourite running mantra.  I have hillitude!

It was wonderful when Louise joined us with our training.  It’s been a total joy to train with her and then cross finish lines with her…well…she crosses and then I cross and that’s ok.  Same with Pauly, he crosses and then I cross.  Someone has to be the slower one of the three and that’s me!  But guess what?  There were four of us crazy people out tonight in Deloraine running up and down hills.  Pauly and Louise and I AND Louise’s’ husband Grant!  Grant is going to walk the P2P this year but judging from how he was running with us (yes, running and out in front) I think he might be catching the running bug!  It was a wonderful spring-like evening too.  The days are getting longer and as such more people get to have fun giving us strange looks.  We’re not crazy to be running up hills, we are just being prepared and getting ready to run and walk up that mountain in just under three months.

 

Why is it that hills never look that steep in photos?

Why is it that hills never look that steep in photos?

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Happy running 🙂

PS it is no mean feat to walk the Point to Pinnacle.  Walkers are given 4:40:00 and runners 3:40:00 to get from sea level all the way to the top of Mt Wellington (21.4kms and with a rise in altitude to 1250m).  This week is the week to start those hill repeats so that we can be as ready as possible to meet the mountain and get all the way to the Pinnacle.  Trust me it’s so worth it. It is THE most amazing experience.  They don’t call it the world’s toughest half marathon for nothing.  If I can put the training in and get myself ready to run that mountain then it’s possible for anyone!  Point to Pinnacle here we come!

The Point to Pinnacle distance and incline

The Point to Pinnacle distance and incline

 

17 thoughts on “Let’s talk about hills

  1. I love your post! I had a rough go at hills last night. Of course it was my own doing. Champagne and Hill repeats do not go together. Lesson Learned! Keep at ’em!!! I’m finding they are making me much stronger! (Yippee!)

    • I’m just about to go and read about your hill running 🙂 any hill running has to be good for us…at least that’s what I tell myself. I so agree with you, they do make us stronger. I’m always amazed in races by how many people I pass going up hills…they then zoom passed me on the flats though hehe. Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂

  2. I guess there’s a first time for everything 🙂 Especially romanticizing hills!! I’m seriously contemplating coming over to do that half:):) I have to admit that I tend to use my long runs which are hilly enough for my training. The steeper the hill the better the challenge,especially when you get to the top and realise you just accomplished something amazing. Leg strength and mental attitude help a lot. Keep up the positive vibe.

    • Hills are our friends. Our Coach tells us that and I so agree that it’s as much a mental attitude about hills as it is actually running up them. P2P is amazing. The atmosphere is so good…positive, expectant, hopeful…it’s hard to describe. So much work goes into training and then there we are running up that big mountain. There are only 200 places left for this year! I would love to meet you at this epic event 🙂

  3. I need to do more hills (I’ve done one session so far) especially as I have a race in 4 weeks which starts with a huge incline & I’m bricking it So it was great to read your post & get reinvigorated about doing them. :).

    • Thanks Bernie 🙂 it’s all because of Louise, I wouldn’t have contemplated it and now I’m so excited!!! And there is a lovely swag of repeat offenders from The Running Group running as well. Here’s hoping for another magic weather day!

  4. Hehe – “repeat offenders”, I like that in your above comment … here’s hoping for a beautiful day like we got last year – the view was amazing!!!! Not sure how “enjoyable” it would/will be with freezing cold temperatures, snow and sleet!!!!! BRING IT ON … we’ll be ready. xx

    • I was thinking of you and Bruce, Leanne and Leigh and Cathy when I typed that. We must be mad! Agreed, I think it would be rather nasty to run in wet/cold/snowy conditions…but finishing in conditions like that would make us feel so strong and mighty!!! Yes Bring it on!!!! I’m so excited, more excited because this year that looming time limit isn’t the big nasty thing that it was last year. xxx

  5. Thank-you so much for this blog – I have been so lost as to what type of hills I should be doing for training – and even though this is a week off training due to mole being removed from the leg – I feel a lot more confidant that if I keep with my course which includes a few hills – but throw in shorter hills repeats I might just make it up that crazy mountain. From your graph I get that the hills are about 400 metres long? Can I ask what sort of pace you do them at?
    Love the Hillitude!!

    • Glad it’s helped. Our Coach last year stressed the importance of hill repeats. All up it’s just under 1.4kms for the repeat. The pace varies on how slippery it is if it’s been raining and how tired we are. Sometimes we go up at at around 5:30 average pace but sometimes as slow ad 7:30. The aim will be to get faster as we get closer to P2P. We’ll also move to some other more intense inclines to dial it up a few notches. Hope your leg recovers quickly. Sounds like you could do with a lighter week after your fantastic half on the weekend. ‘Hillitude’ comes from Shazruns, a really awesome blog.

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