I am just like most runners in that I once had a love/hate relationship when I would run hill repeats. I love all the benefits of running hill repeats, but when running up a hill, my hamstrings feel nothing but pain. But when I would complete hill repeats I would feel such great accomplishment. I would also feel much stronger when I raced. So how do you switch gears to see the positive when you run hill repeats and motivate yourself to run this workout every few weeks?
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1 Improve 5 K Running Time
In the April edition of Runner’s World magazine, there was a study done by New Zealand researchers that proved a 2% improvement in 5k times for runners who regularly ran hill repeats. This means 20 minute 5k runners would yield a 19:36 5k time after running hills repeats on a regular basis of once per week. As a competitive runner myself, I consider this a major reason to run hill repeats. Does this motivate you?
2 Strengthen Your Leg Muscles
To run quicker and have more spring in your step, run hill repeats. Hill repeats strengthen and tone the major muscles of the legs — hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves. Hill repeats also strengthen your hip flexors and Achilles' tendons. And runners that run hills more often have great legs! In order to see optimal benefits from running hill repeats, make sure you push hard for 60-90 seconds up the hill, rest for a 2-3 minute jog or walk and repeat several times.
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3 Make This a Secret Weapon
To become stronger and faster, use hill repeats as your secret weapon! Running up and down a hill can wreak havoc on your confidence or build your confidence. This all depends on your view of the world. Be aware that it is going to hurt, but will be well worth it! If you go into your hill repeats aware of all the benefits, you can use this as a secret weapon to become a faster and more efficient runner!
4 Strengthen Your Upper Body
Since running uphill forces you to move your arms harder to pull yourself up the hill, you will strengthen your upper body as a result. So use those arms to propel your body up the hill!
5 Build Your Endurance and Gain Speed
By running hill repeats, your body becomes more efficient in adapting to stress and as a result will utilize glycogen more efficiently. Just pay attention to how you will be less out of breath after just a few weeks of doing hill repeats. It will seem much easier because of your gains in strength!
6 Helps Prevent Injury
Often runners become so obsessed with getting a certain amount of mileage in each week that they forget about focusing on the quality of their runs. Running hill repeats breaks up the routine of flat running while providing peak training to help performance and reduce your risk of an injury.
7 Build Your Confidence
There is no way you are going to avoid the countless hills in races and if you train properly, you will tackle these hills without a pause. The more hill repeats you run in practice, the easier these hills will be on race day. Focus on form and technique in your training so you can use this experience when you race. This preparation will help build your strength and confidence to prepare you for a great race.
Hope my reasons to run hill repeats will motivate you to tackle the next hill with confidence. Do you run hill repeats and if so, how often do you do this workout?
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