I am looking to include some hill repeats into my training, mostly to build anaerobic strength for the mile and 5k, but also for overall power and speed development as well.
I have an idea of what I want to do, but was just wondering how others incorporate hill repeats into their training. Is this something you do at the end of a speed workout or easy run, or are the repeats the focus of the workout itself?
I have a section of about a quarter mile that I can run on, nothing serious, only about 50 feet of elevation gain over that distance. I thought it would be a good place to start though.
10 repeats would be about 2.5 miles. Would that be sufficient as a stand alone quality workout? With a 2 or 3 mile warm up, recoveries and cool down, I am looking at 7 to 8 miles total. This workout (or something similar) would replace one of my two weekly quality workouts about once a month.
Any advice or thoughts is appreciated, thanks.
an amazing likeness
I make them the focus of the workout. When I'm rolling through normal training I'll rotate hill and interval as one of my quality workouts in a pattern week to week.
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Hill repeats are a workout until themselves for me. I usually only do them after a solid base and race prep of hills, so they're more like the cherry on top the icing on top the cake for me (last few wks before taper/peak). But I do lots of other hill workouts as well as generally hilly runs. The repeats that benefit me the most are usually about 3 min uphill (20% slope), jog down, complete recovery (or until the mosquitoes try to carry me off) (usually jog + recovery < 3min), repeat. (note: those slopes are typical of some of my races and nearby terrain. I probably wouldn't use that for training for a mile.)
When focusing on power or neuromuscular benefits, I usually do shorter stuff or drills and they may get worked into another run. When I have traction in summer (still have some snow), I'll usually have 2 bigger hills (one as part of long run and one serving as "midweek" medium long run) and one rolling hills in every 2 wk period. In winter with snow, intensity depends on traction.
You might consider trying your repeats out for size before committing to 10 of them. Maybe start with 4 or 5, then add 1 or 2 each week, if you can. Enjoy.
When I do them they are also the focus of my workout. I consider them to be a quality workout, ordinarily about 1 minute in duration with a slow jog back for recovery, at 1 mile pace. I have built up to 10 reps over time. When I first started them there is no way I could have done 10 without trashing myself.
I'd recommend starting conservatively with the reps and building from there.
Here is a good video from Pete Magill on hill work-