hill training: i think i can, i think i can!



Everyone knows hill training is extremely challenging. These seemingly harmless inclines will test your limits and leave you begging for mercy. Just when you thought you had nothing left you’ll find yourself trekking up the same hill again and again.

so why do it?

There is a method behind this hill madness. Hill training will help you become a faster, stronger runner and will teach your body to handle that nasty lactic acid much more efficiently. Somehow after a long, grueling hill workout no run will ever seem quite as challenging.

Add hills once a week to improve your running! It's also a great way to add variety to your training program. I can personally guarantee you that boredom is not the first thing that comes to mind during a hill workout.

Choose your weapon (aka workout) below and as always make sure you're well warmed-up.

rebecca from lululemon hill training

the speed demon

Choose a hill and run at 75-90% of your max speed for 15-20 seconds. When you reach the top turn around and walk back down. Repeat 10 times.

the knee knacker

Start off with high-knees for 15-seconds, continue with easy running for 10 seconds and follow up with a hard effort at 70-80% of your max speed for 15-seconds. Walk/jog down the hill and repeat 10 times.

good ol’ max threshold

Choose a hill and run at 65-80% of your max speed for 45-60 seconds, when you reach the top, jog down very slowly while trying to limit the time spent walking. Repeat 10 times.

the stomach turner

Choose a semi-gradual incline that will take about 90 seconds to run at 60-75% of your max speed. When you reach the top turn around and jog back down. DO NOT STOP! Continue for 20-minutes.

rebecca hill training

The feeling once you reach the summit will be one of exhilaration, it may also feel a little like puke, but you did it. Pushing yourself past your upper limits is what makes you a runner. Keep it up and enjoy the run!

Rebecca is a part-time educator at lululemon Robson. Check out their Facebook page for more of her articles. She competes in track and field, specializing in the 800-metres, and has a background in kinesiology and broadcast journalism.

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6 Comments »


Looking forward to trying out these hill workouts–as a San Franciscan I definitely have to conquer hills on a regular basis and these are going to help out a lot!

Comment by Danielle — May 5, 2010 @ 7:13 pm


This is a great idea. Training for a half marathon and I am def going to do this to help out! Thanks. What is she wearing in these photos? Love her outfit!

Comment by Kelly — May 5, 2010 @ 8:39 pm


Great tips and very motivational! Keep ‘em coming!

Comment by Tara — May 5, 2010 @ 11:03 pm


Rebecca- you have been my inspiration for so long! I’m so happy to see you on the blog :) You rock my world. I will think of you as i make it up the hills of Vancouver. No pain, no gain!

Comment by Kaila — May 5, 2010 @ 11:03 pm


If only Australia had some hills, I’d be all over it! Great work Becks, all the best with your two passions: writing and running!

Comment by Steph — May 6, 2010 @ 4:42 pm


I’m totally inspired and wanna go do a hill run right now!…ok…well maybe not RIGHT now…but soon! Awesome article Becks, can’t wait to read more:)

Comment by Christine — May 8, 2010 @ 9:59 pm


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