A tempo run is good, hill repeats are great, both together? Amazing.
This week’s workout from Jessica Broderick of Boulder-based Forever Endurance. Broderick is a professional ITU triathlete who is now using her extensive experience to help coach others and shape workouts to simulate race-day situations.
This combination workout is ideal for triathletes looking to get moving—but moving well—in the winter and spring. “At this time of the year, building a base and getting in consistent miles is important to establish a solid foundation for the season ahead,” Broderick says. “That being said, it is still extremely important to reinforce good biomechanics in an effort to stay injury free during the winter months, and also to remind the body of how to run efficiently. Running uphill provides an opportunity to do this.”
Though this workout can be done on a treadmill with good grade simulation, it’s best to find a moderately steep or steep hill outside with grass or a softer surface to use on the downhills. Be sure to focus on high turnover and lean to encourage proper form.
Broderick adds, “Hill running encourages you to activate the right muscles, and in the form of short sprints, using these muscles in a powerful way allows for more motor unit recruitment.”
“Sandwiching the hill sprints between aerobic work allows for not only a solid warm-up, but also a block of running where the mechanics used from running uphill are further reinforced on flat roads,” she continues. “I have been implementing this session in my Boston Marathon buildup each week, and it amazes me how much better I feel during the second aerobic block. Hills are not my favorite (I don’t think they are anyone’s favorite), but I love what they do for my stride after the fact!”
The first time you do this workout, start with eight hill sprints and work up to 12 to 14. Broderick also suggests using a different hill each time, if possible.
5 minutes jog, dynamic stretching
20 minutes aerobic run (5k pace + ~1:30-2:00/mile)
8×30” hill sprints with jog down
20-30 minutes Aerobic run
5 minutes jog easy