The Hills Are Very Much Alive
Not with the sound of music, but with potential of making you wheeze and hyperventilate. Done correctly, you will improve both your endurance and power as a runner and athlete. I try to break it down to the 3-Ws and 1H approach (as the other W, or WHO refers to YOU).
Short Hill Workout
Where: Find a hill that is about 100m to 200m long.
When: Once a week. Towards the end of an easy workout or as a complete workout by itself.
Why: Develop explosive short burst of power essential for that final few hundred meters of your race. You never know if you managed to overtake Geoffrey Mutai or Paula Radcliff in those final 500meters.
How: Two to three sets of 10 hill repeat. Run up AsFastAsYouCan (if that is too fast for you, i meant, run all out). Jog down at a relaxed pace and do a slow jog for about 5minutes between sets.
Power Hill Workout
Where: A route with rolling hills. Anything between 5km to 10km. Double Hill Loop comes into mind.
When: Once a week. As part of a longer run or a run by itself.
Why: Power Hill Workout is good for anyone looking to improve their overall half or full marathon experience. It is even better for a 10km run where you will improve on the timing, come what (the route) may.
How: Push through each hill and do not slow down. Cruise on the downhill, use it to catch your breathe but maintain the same, if not slower pace. An example, for myself is to maintain nothing less than a 5:30min/km pace (aka must not drop below that speed when running uphill).
Long Hill Workout
Where: A route with longer rolling hills. The Hartamas Loop would be perfect.
When: Again, once a week and this time, as part of your LSD route/training.
Why: Long hill runs forces you to concentrate on your running form when tired. Perfect to develop confidence for long runs, racing concentration and ensuring an injury free run. This is on top of running a strong race, of course.
How: Maintain your long run pace. Chest out, tummy in, chin up and cruise over those hills.
Mother Of All Hill Circuit
Where: A route with at least 500m worth of hills to climb; and up to 2km if you are lucky to find them. Mine happened to be at Bukit Kiara.
When: Exclusive by it's own, once a week.
Why: Because you can. OK, i am talking rubbish here. But you know that this one will greatly add on strength, endurance and performance if done diligently.
How: As the route is longer, you will have to put in the commitment to run the uphill similar to your Power Hill Workout or at close to your 5K pace (of which for me is 5:00min/km pace). Run the downhill at about 60%-75%, mainly to avoid injuries or you can turn it into a speed work running down at a faster pace. Do a total of at least 3 sets or 6km and head for 5 sets if you still felt alright and can hold the running form.
Which One Did I Do For Self-Gratification?
My fitness level is better than before and I considered myself to be very lucky to be at this stage. Showing good progress on my recent runs and being able to run and hold a 4:30min/km pace no less than 5km distance, i felt it is only fair that i put myself through the Mother Of All Hill Circuit.
|The Torture Ground|
|The many many identical peaks. Five to be exact.|
|Incremental heart rate corelating to the elevation gain and drop|