Adventures in Hill Repeats

Good Afternoon Fellow New Runners!

Last week was week three of my half marathon training.  So far the Train Like A Mother 1/2 marathon Finish It Plan has been super easy to follow.  I feel stronger and my runs are really getting better.  I’ll publish a brief recap of what I did last week, but wanted to dive in deeper to one specific workout.  

Hill Repeats.  I’ve never done these before as I live in Florida…super flat Florida (our hills are either bridges or landfills…true story!).  Luckily for me, the races I’ve signed up for and have run have all been in Florida so there hasn’t been a real need for me to try to tackle hills.  However, the training plan called for hill repeats and I’ve heard there is a hill in the Tower of Terror (on-ramp on the highway, I told you all of our hills are man-made!) so I thought I would give this “hills” stuff a try by using a treadmill.

On Thursday morning I set off, did a nice 1 mile warm up, up to the mini gym in my neighborhood.  There was no one there (thank God, you’ll see why in a second) and I jumped on one of the treadmills to start the hill repeats.

 I quickly realized I had to adjust both the incline and the the same time.  This was tricky and I never did master it.  It took a few seconds for me to get the treadmill up to speed and the incline I wanted.  Next time I am going to use the timer on the machine vs. my Garmin, hopefully I’ll get a more accurate interval time in.  

My first interval I apparently thought I was superman as I had an incline of over 7 and a speed of just about 6 minutes per mile.  I realized I made a terrible decision pretty quickly as I had to hang on for dear life lest I go flying into the free weight area.  (who puts free weights right behind the treadmills..I mean really!).  

The next incline was a bit better, I lowered the hill just a bit (6) and decreased the speed a ton (8-9 minute mile) and had better luck.  However my euphoria ended on intervals 3 and 4 as I started wheezing and my hamstrings and glutes were yelling at me to stop the insanity. 

As soon as the torture session hill repeats were over, I jumped off the treadmill, cleaned it and headed home.  The mile run back home was hard as my legs felt like lead.  I walked in to the house and promptly plopped myself down on the floor (I was too sweaty for the furniture) and said “never again”.  The problem is I have to do this all over again in two weeks…and add 2 extra intervals on.  God help me. 

Here is how the rest of the week fared: 

Monday: 3 mile run with 4 strides.  Felt strong, fast and just down right amazing during this run.  

Tuesday: 6 mile evening run.  I had some…ahem gastrointestinal issues that made this less fun than it should have been.

Wednesday: Rest 

Thursday: Aforementioned hill repeats.  

Friday: Should have crossed trained, but didn’t.  Does mopping count as cross training, because I did that.

Saturday: 8 mile long run.  This was a great run, finished strong in the summer heat and humidity.  Actually went longer than 8 (almost 9) and was quite pleased at how well I felt during the run.

Enjoy the Run!


Question: How do you handle hill repeats if there is no hill near you?


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