Early Season Strength-Building Hill Workouts

The best way to improve running uphill ... is to train on hills. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Classic Hill Reps

Perform this session once a week or once every two weeks. Run on a 4- to 8-percent incline. The grade must be reasonable and not so steep that you can’t run with rhythm. The effort should be steady, and not too intense. The idea is to build strength without working toward a race effort. Stay below your anaerobic-threshold heart rate (your AT heart rate corresponds to the pace at which you would typically run a 10K).

After a good warm-up, do 10-25 minutes of hill work, as described below.

— Your first two to three sessions should involve shorter hills and more rest. Keep your heart rate 10-15 beats below threshold. Example: 5-15 x 1-2 minutes uphill, with 100 percent rest (one minute of rest for every one minute uphill; two minutes of rest for every two minutes uphill).

— Over your next two to three sessions, work toward longer hills at a sustained effort. Let your heart rate rise to within five to 10 beats below AT and perform 4-8 x 3-5 minutes uphill with 75 percent rest.

RELATED: Hill Training Techniques For Trail Running

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