One-Hour Workout: The Hill Repeater

This week’s workout comes from Pennsylvania-based Kenrick Smith, owner of K17SPORT Fitness since 2012. Smith is a USAT- and USATF-certified coach and an assistant high school track and field coach. He has competed on triathlon’s biggest stages including the Ironman World Championship, the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and most recently the Celtman Extreme Triathlon in Scotland in 2017.

“The Hill Repeater is a workout that is intense and will work on two different—but equally-important—aspects of our running: the ascent and descent,” says Smith. “The ascent portion of this workout will build speed, muscular strength, mental toughness and stamina. The descent will help improve your leg turnover rate, work on how to recover quickly after climbing a hill, and teach how to keep effort high even when recovering. We have to remember the work isn’t complete at the top of the ascent, and we have to hit the descent just as hard, to focus on being efficient so we can recover while picking our pace back up.”

“On the uphill section, focus on driving knees and arms, staying up on the balls of your feet, relaxing your body, and controlling your breathing (big controlled breaths: in through your nose, out through your mouth),” Smith says.

“On the way down, focus on keeping your effort high while feeling your pace pick up and recovering on your descent,” he says. “Open up your stride, lean forward slightly, pick up your leg turnover and keep your feet quiet as they make contact with the ground (no thumping feet) – keep this effort until you return back to your start location.”

This workout is best done on a hill that is just steep enough for a good challenge, but not so difficult that it alters your running form. Find a hill that has a gradual incline and takes no less than 1:30 to climb at a fast pace.

Warm-up
10-minute jog with a really good stretch afterwards

Main Set
1:30 max effort up the hill (see uphill running notes above)
Turn around, same effort downhill (see downhill running notes above)
2 minutes rest walk/jog
6x each repeat, trying to reach the same spot or further on the hill
10 min strong run at 80-85% max heart rate after six rounds of hills

Cool-down
10-minute jog and good stretch

More one-hour workouts