One-Hour Workout: Power-Up Hill Repeats

Boost your aerobic fitness and run-specific strength with this hill reps workout from Coach Ryan Bolton.

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This week’s One-Hour Workout comes from Coach Ryan Bolton’s How to Get Race Ready in Six Weeks training plan. The plan is aimed at those racing 70.3 distance and is ideally suited to athletes who have a solid, consistent aerobic base.

This run workout is taken from the first week of the plan, the opening three weeks of which Bolton said are designed to advance your fitness with some higher volume. Technically, the full prescribed session is 75 minutes in duration, but it’s easy enough to pare it back to 60 minutes (see suggestions below).

Begin with a 15-minute warm-up, all in Zone 1 to 2 (for further details on training zones check out this How to Establish Training Zones article). This equates to RPE (rate of perceived exertion) 4-5/10 if you typically train by feel rather than zones.

On a hill that is 4% to 6% grade, you’ll then hit 8 x 800-meter hill repeats, where the focus should be on driving your arms and legs to help power you up the hill. Push these hard—and get your heart rate into high Zone 4 (RPE 9/10). Jog back downhill between each one (and ensure your heart rate returns to Zone 2 or lower, or RPE 5/10 or lower).

If you’re looking to keep this to 60 minutes or less, then simply do 4 to 6 hill repeats. Aim to build up over time as you feel you’re adapting to the session.

Wrap it all up with a very easy and relaxed 10-minute jog cool-down.

Check out the full training plan here: How to Get Race Ready in Six Weeks

One-Hour Workout: Power-Up Hill Repeats


15 min. Z1/2 or RPE 4-5/10

Main set

8 x 800m hill repeats, building to high Z4/RPE 9/10 — jog back downhill to recover, waiting for heart-rate to drop to Z2 or lower (RPE 5/10 or lower)

(reduce number of reps to 4-6 if looking for a shorter workout)


10 min. easy jog

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