Thursday, July 8, 2010

Evil Hill Work / Hill Intervals

Hill Work. Ugg. Probably my least favorite type of workouts. But, hill repeats are a really good way to build strength in your legs without punishing them with lots of fast repeats. (If you say that 3 times, the ghost of Ryan Hall will appear and grant you three wishes)

I decided during the Rock and Roll Seattle marathon (around mile 20 or so) that I WOULD be doing more hill work come hell or high water blistering Arizona Heat**. The hills in Seattle killed me. Fortunately, RunningLaur has a few really nice moderate hills to run on right near her house. So this morning, Jeff, RunningLaur, and I all decided to enjoy in each others misery and tackle the hills.

To be clear, when I think hill work, this is the picture that I have in my head.

When in all actually, I was greeted by the hill to the right. Based on Garmin, it has a moderate climb of 75 feet. Not a ton, but good enough for now. I did 4, 800M repeats up the hill and then jogged back down. My target pace was 6:40 which would be approximately 10K-10sec pace or so. For the first climb, I honestly had a bit of trouble holding that pace because I was too fast. However, after that I did NOT have any trouble with going to fast. I got tired QUICK.

My legs were really feeling the week's mileage (and speed). For the record, in my mind: THIS IS A GOOD THING. Getting used to pushing yourself while tired is one of the main advantages of doing 2-3 days of running in a row. I missed that mark a bit when I was training for Seattle.

Here is where I ended up:
3:12 (6:21 pace)
3:22 (6:40 pace)
3:19 (6:35 pace)
3:09 (6:33 pace)

Here are the three of us before we started out. Myself, RunningLaur, and Jeff. Note how I look like I've been hit by a truck and they both look rested and chipper. (Also note how we look like a Nathan Hydration commercial)

Even before we started, RunningLaur mentioned that we'd need to take some pictures around the "no swimming" sign that was in the park. After taking one look at the sign, I decided that she knows me too well***. So, after the torturous hill intervals, Jeff and I decided to throw caution to the wind (and stick it to the man by throwing up a few "one finger salutes")...........
Strange shadow makes me look like I have a black eye!!

And go swimming anyway!!!!

RunningLaur on the other hand, was content in displaying what we all decided**** was the international sign for "I'm drowning". That is:
  • Being an alien
  • Wearing mittens
  • Having an incredibly surprised look on your face
  • Throwing your mitten clad hands in the air like you just don't care

Do you do hill work? What tips do you have for someone who doesn't have ANY hills within 25 miles of his house?

**So, basically come hell or hell
***Although, not well enough as she did not bring any beer or wine
****Actually, most of those quips go to Jeff - I can't steal them because there were people around Credit where credit is due


Jamoosh said...

I was unaware that people still wore mittens. Go figure - stupid aliens.

Tricia said...

We don't have any hills here either so I run the intercoastal waterway bridges...but I'm going to take a wild guess and say you probably don't have those either :) guess you'll have to move. (If you're looking for helpful moving advice the best I can do is pass on some wise words I heard recently: "hire it done". What?that wasn't helpful ;)

Andrew Opala said...

Great reading this blog - I feel like I'm running with you (not at you).

Please tell me Adam ... all the blogs you follow are gigantic athletes - legends in their own time. Don't you follow any wannabe's like me that I can read about. There's so much stuff to learn and I'm having too much fun reading the pro blogs.

Rad Runner said...

Dear Speedy Gonzales:
I have no hills in my town, so I drive to them.. Does that help? how sick is that? I drive to the hills?!

The rad coach that went to Katmandu, showed me the GREATEST thing ever (tip) when running up em' take the teeniest lil steps, and pump the arms like pistons, it works wonders, and before you know it your re-enacting Leo. Dicaprio movies...

Adam said...

Andrew - I'll hit you up on twitter! I follow all sorts of blogs

The Laminator said...

I was unaware there are hills in Pheonix...or bodies of water. Shows you how much I know about AZ.

But I do know hills can be fun, if you do them right. Look up short hill sprints, hill intervals and long hilly runs on RunningTimes if you need further info. I know they have a podcast that specifically deals with hill training. said...

Hills are the BEST!!!!! We left the track last night to do an awesome 4 mile hill workout (but I have done more!) Love them, love them, love them. Ok, enough raving, i listened to your podcast on my run this morning, very funny! Reading Rainbow is the best (but really, are you old enough to have watched that show...) Trying to figure out where you got your opening "Hi dere". I know I recognize it from somewhere, just can't place it. Have a great day!

kilax said...

Ha! You guys totally crack me up! Good for you for doing hills. We do have a few hills out here. I have avoided them since I got injured... but would like to go back to them!

Chad said...

Honestly, homeslice, you could just crank up the treadmill to 12.5% incline and 8mph and do 3 minutes sprints and just stand on the side rails for a recovery. Put on heart rate monitor and post the results.

RunningLaur said...

Well, now I don't have to write a post because you covered it all. Score!

Teamarcia said...

I do hills when I think of it...which is almost we don't have many here in flatland. I do them on the mill once in a blue moon. Can you tell how fond I am of them?

Angie Bishop said...

I've got hills here in Des Moines and this reminds me that I've been running the flat nice little paved bike trail too much lately and need to get back to my cemetery route with the killer hills!
I don't have advice for you really. Stairs in a super tall building.....

destinationathlete said...

As I posted on Laura's blog - I am SOOO jealous that you guys have fellow runners to go running with!

I hate hill work. I hate speed work. I know they both work, I KNOW IT, but that does not temper my hatred of both.

Like the recap though!

Chris K said...

Weird, so far, the Infamous Coach Jeff has yet to assign hill work. Please don't remind him of that by the way.

Julie said...

Hi Adam,
Maple Grove is flipping full of hills! I am still not a huge fan of them but I have found out that I do not like running on a totally flat course:) Go figure:) Great pictures....I love blogger meet ups!

Her Name is Rio said...

You guys crack me up! Great going on getting hill work done!

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

I do hill work every time I go out...well, not really...there are not really any hills in South Florida, but I do get altitude changes of 1 to 3 feet on most runs.

Actually, I do hit some bridges once in awhile. Yes, they are pretty high.

sRod said...

I love hill repeats! But no idea what you can do to substitute for them.

Also, who swims with their mittens in the air like that? (Maybe aliens do?) And if I was drowning, the last place you'd see my hands would be way over my head.

Many they are trying to warn you that there are aliens who swim there (and they happen to wear mittens and swim with their arms in the air) and that it would be wise to not disrupt their habitat.

Also, there is the chance that the picture is of a synchronized swimmer. In which case I would also be afraid to swim there.

inspiREDtorun13 said...

This was a really funny post! I love making fun of sign guys. "Slippery when wet" is another good one.

Glad you guys didn't drown.

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