Hill workouts are great for building strength, VO2 Max, and, of course, improving your efficiency running up hills. Trust me, you WILL encounter hills in races and in your daily training runs. Why not build up strength to make you stronger, faster and turn hills into speed bumps?

Try this workout to strengthen hips, glutes and quads. Hills also help to promote mid to forefoot striking since it is difficult to heel strike on an incline. You will feel this in your calf muscles.

First, go on a scouting mission to find your hill. It should be pretty steep and pretty long – around a quarter mile. Find one that looks like it will be a challenge – not one that looks like it will leave you crying in a fetal position on repeat #4. You and your hill are going to become friends, so choose wisely. You and your hill will have some hard times, but in the long run, you will grow quite fond of one another. Trust me, it will be a pain in your butt.




Start with a mile or two warm up, ending at the bottom of your hill. Then run hard – 80-90% of your full effort – up that hill for 90 seconds. Stop, turnaround, and walk or jog back down.

Do this 10 times.

Things to think about – A quicker cadence will make the work of tackling the hill easier. Don’t stare down at your feet. Keep your eyes up to the horizon and climb to that crest.

When complete, do a mile or two cool down run.

TIP – If your kid has some sidewalk chalk, throw a piece in your pocket or tuck it in the top of your sock. Draw a chalk line at the bottom of the hill where you will start. After each 90 second uphill run, make a mark on the road. See if you can make it to the same line or beyond, and make a mark each time. This is a great way to keep count and also see if you are getting farther up the hill as you get tired.

When you are done, draw a little heart and write “I love you, hill” on the road. This is the beginning of a lasting relationship. Embrace the pain.