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Love ’em or hate ’em, hills are your friend. Whether you’ve picked one of the toughest run courses in triathlon or a race with a pancake-flat run, you should include hill workouts in your training regimen. Why? Hill repeats are hard, and as the saying goes, the hard is what makes it great. Hill repeats are an excellent way to build strength, improve speed, and get some confidence – nothing gets a day started better than flattening a few hills before breakfast!
But you don’t have to run up an entire mountain to get the benefit of hill repeats. Even short hill efforts can get you big results.
This week’s one-hour workout comes from triathlon coach and Kinesiology/Sports Psychology Ph.D. Craig Paiement, who specializes in developing juniors, U-23 ITU hopefuls and high-performance athletes. Paiement uses this session most in the early-season build-up, but it works as a strength builder year-round. This is a solid repeatable session to use for 6–8 weeks (adjust time as fitness increases). Paiement advises to focus on form and foot cadence on the downhill.
One-Hour Workout: Quarter-Mile Hill Repeats
Dynamic warm-up routine
One-mile easy run to a measured ¼-mile, moderate grade hill
Run up 8x at 5K pace, returning back down at a 5K pace plus 20–25 seconds. There is no rest interval. (In other words, for a 20-minute 5K runner, the pace is 1:38 up and 2:00 down)
One mile easy