Friday, December 12, 2008


Hill workouts mean different things to different people. Pfitzinger writes about them in his section about resistence/weight training. He views hills as a way to strengthen the legs without using weights. Daniels agrees with this view to a point - but he also views hills as a rep workout in that it can greatly increase your heart rate over a shorter distance/slower speed than on a track.

For most people who have been on XC/track teams hills mean pain. Usually the name of the street where your coach had you do hill workouts can bring a chill to the spine many years later. At my high school we had "5th street." Our coach marked out 400 meter and 800 meter "options". University of Michigan has Harvard Street - which is shorter, but steeper. At Loyola in Chicago we were forced to go to a sledding hill in Evanston that had once been a dump - it was too short - so we did a LOT of them.

The worst thing about hill workouts is the last 25 meters when it feels like you're standing still, and yet your legs are burning and you feel like you might hyperventilate. But, they make you stronger.
In preperation for Boston I'm going to do hills on most weeks when I have just one other "hard" workout. I may even do some downhill training as I've heard that the Boston downhills near the end are more challenging on dead legs than you might think.
This morning was my first hill workout in Druid Hill Park (pic above). I tried to take it a little easy on myself - but, I still got a good burn going.


RM said...

For us it was Ueland and Pelican that were our hills named after streets.

Here in Baltimore we've got Hollins and Bellemore.

Ben have you never run up at Boston before? The downhills in the last 4 miles aren't bad, it's actually very fast, but I guess you could be pretty thrashed from the massive amount of downhill running in the beginning (as in, 13 miles worth).

I actually think the slopes in Patterson Park are pretty equivalent, if you start at the Pagoda and do repeats all the way down to the flats it would be pretty decent.

Ben said...

I've done a little running in Boston - but, only around downtown. I was looking at the profile online and it looks like they drop you off a cliff in the first few miles. my main strategy will be to keep my stride short to limit the amount of pounding. i think patterson park is a good idea - maybe we could do a few on our wednesday night run in a few months.