Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Hills Part 1

This past week I have been running some hills! On Monday, the first was a smallish, one block long hill, and I only did 5 rounds, up and down but that was just fine for starters. 
I felt really good while doing them and when I was through actually was a little thirsty for more! This first one works nice because it is pretty steep and near my house! 

It doesn't look too big, and takes me about 45 seconds to run up at about an 80 percent race pace. Not too shabby. Like I said, I only rocked out 5 (up and down) which is just short of one mile. 

Why run hills? 
Well, for me, the trail I am running on will have hills, so I need to be conditioned to run over them without them wearing me out etc. In general though, running hills can offer a lot to your training plan: 

 Build strength: your muscles contract differently on hills than on flat ground, this will strengthen them in different ways. By strengthening these you will also find yourself faster on the flat terrain. 
Build aerobic power: As you train on hills, you are working your heart and lungs harder which over time will condition them into better shape. 
Work on your stride: depending on the size of the hill, your stride will naturally change. A long low incline hill will allow your stride to be longer than a short hill that you run with quick strides and forefoot strikes much like a sprinter. 
Work on your upper body: We all know that pumping our arms helps with the momentum of running, and hills offer more upper body involvement. Naturally we are pumping our arms harder, leaning into the incline and engaging our core. 

Me and the hill--we tight. 

I had my fanny pack with me ( holla!) since 1) it's hott and 2) I was heading straight to the gym for a little Body Pump action after my mile of hills and I had to carry my keys and camera! 

I was messing with the camera in the gym(!!) and got this kind of cool shot! 
I look oiled up! 

After ALL of that, I convinced my friend Jason to let me buy him some Gelato!  

I had Lemon sorbet over blueberry Gelato! I wasn't even to the cone yet and I was getting full, my eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach! 

Do you ever run hills to train? Do you have to seek them out or do you have them right where you run? 

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