Are you getting tired of hill sprints? Are you looking for something different but with a similar purpose? Running hills provide many benefits, but if all of your other workouts are done on flat ground, it may not be preparing you enough for race day. By switching things up and combining your hills with tempo runs, you’ll be well prepared mentally and physically to handle a more technical, hilly course, and is a convenient way to fit both types of workouts into a busy schedule.
To start, find a 100m to 200m hill in your area. The idea here is to do between 10 and 20 reps of jogging up the hill and tempo down.
- Jog up the hill at recovery pace (around 90 seconds slower than your 5K race pace)
- Run at a controlled tempo pace on the way down (15 to 30 seconds slower than your 5K race pace)
Be sure to control your efforts by jogging up the hill on the first five reps to make things easier later in the workout.
Running downhill is tougher on our bodies than running uphill, and form and technique are very important. A good thing to practice is engaging your hips and pushing them slightly forward to force your legs to land under your body. This technique gives you more control against gravity and will help build your cadence.
This workout is great for runners training for distances from 5K to the half-marathon. Mixing both uphill and downhill running in one workout will prepare you for anything the course throws at you come race day.