Hills for breakfast

I have gotten in the habit of running with others on Wednesday morning at 5:30am which is actually great. Normally when I run this early in the morning I slack and run slow, quit early and blame it on being tired and no breakfast. I think I am losing these excuses, maybe it is being with others or maybe my body is just adjusting better. Who knows but I like it!
Picture and shirt from Cafe Press
Yesterday I headed out for 1 hour of hills with 5 others, but not your typical hill workout of running instead we mixed it up incorporating strength and speed. After an easy 1 mile warm up we did 5 repeats of 1/2 mile hill with a workout that was...
  • 20 lunges
  • 20 skips/high knees
  • 20 fast striders
  • Repeat until the top
Hill training has many benefits for runners:
  • Improves power and muscle elasticity
  • Improves stride frequency and length
  • Develops co-ordination, encouraging the proper use of arm action during the driving phase and feet in the support phase
  • Downhill running develops control, stabilization and improved speed         
  • Promotes strength endurance
  • Short hills develop maximum speed and strength
  • Improves lactate tolerance
The key to hill training is to have a good endurance and strength base and not over do it. Hill workouts can be fun and make you feel tough when finished. So find a hill (or increase the treadmill incline) and run.
A fun treadmill hill workout (a great way to break up the mental boredom on the treadmill):
  • 1-2 mile warm up
  • 1-2 min @ Marathon Pace with 10% incline
  • 1 min easy or walk at 1% incline (I find it easiest to jump off and walk)
  • Repeat 4-6 times
  • 1-2 mile cool down
And now for the August Challenge- Day 2: Do you workout in the morning or at night? Why?
I prefer morning workouts this way I know I am done and nothing will get in the way. And what a great way to wake up and start the day. Half the time I am not even fully awake to realize I am working out until part way through!

When do you workout? What do you think of hills?


  1. LOVE hills and used to do this kind of thing a million years ago in my youth. Alas I find myself living in the flattest place on earth so have to make do with the treadmill. Enjoy those hills and those training partners, you're a lucky girl!

    1. I have the opposite situation, I can't avoid hills!

  2. Wow, what a great workout! I enjoy working out in the morning too. :] xo

  3. I prefer working out in the morning too! But because I leave for work at 6:45am I usually workout in the evenings except for weekends.
    I love hill workouts on the treadmill. Thx for that one!!

    1. When I was working I had to leave by 6:45 too so morning workouts were extra tough and early!).

  4. Whenever I HAVE to run on the treadmill, I make it a hill workout. But with a mild winter and running early in the morning during the summer...I haven't been on the treadmill in MONTHS!

    1. I too have lucked out with avoiding the treadmill lately, it makes for a long run mentally.

  5. I workout in the morning, but not as early as 5:30:) I used to hate hills, but they are starting to grow on me.

    1. I wish I wasn't up that early but scheduled makes that the only time some days!

  6. I used to hate hills... in my neighborhood I don't have a choice but to run them - now I am pretty used to them. I LOVE that shirt! I work out in the am! :)

  7. I workout early in the morning...before my family wakes up. And I hate hills...but know they are good for me! :-)

    1. That is key, we need to remind ourselves this tough training is worth it.

  8. I'm kinda different because I like working out late morning before lunch.

    1. I used to be that way too but now life and a toddler mean I need other plans!


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