Be the coach who loves hills.-Randy Accetta, RRCA & Run Tuscon
Hills. We love them. We hate them. They make us strong. They make us weak. Today, I choose to embrace the hills. -Hal Higdon
Be a hill seeker. Most of us try to avoid hills but what is so good about flat? Think about it, flat tires, flat hair, flat returns–and the ultimate–flatlining. LIFE happens on the hills. They’re opportunities to prove to yourself that you are stronger than you ever imagined.
Many people shy away from hills. They make it easy on themselves, but that limits their improvement. The more you repeat something, the stronger you get.
-Joe Catalano, running coach
Hills never get easier, you get stronger.
-Greg LaMond, 3-time Tour de France winner
When you first get a hill in sight, look at the top of it only once. Then imagine yourself at the bottom of the other side. – Florence Griffith Joyner, three-time Olympic gold medalist in track
If my husband did not have a strong opinion against tattoos and if these quotes were not so long, I may have one or two tattooed on my skin. I have always loved to train on the hills. I have become quietly confident on the hills. I am not a hill sprinter. I power hike hills as needed and I run them at a comfortable pace.
Training to run 100 miles is a lot of running. Training to run 100 miles with approximately 19K feet of vert, (for me) means a great deal of hill running, hill hiking, treadmill hiking. . . repeating. . . repeatedly.
Here is a glimpse of my hill training from last week. Lately, I have been starting at a trail head that allows a lot of hill running/repeating variety! Here are 3 workouts I penned and will use again.
These workouts are specific to my TN locals. I am not focusing on speed when I climb. So, I have not listed pace. You could power walk these. You could run 2 climbs and walk the rest. You could run the first and the last and walk the climbs in-between. It is about variety, getting in the climbs via walking or running, depending on the day and how I feel.
Chickering One: (most technical of the three)
- Park at the Chickering trail head.
- Run on the road from my car (straight at the 4-way intersection) to the hill at the red trail, .40 miles (the road divides the red trail. One hill climb to the right. One hill climb to the left.)
- Repeat the hill to the left .35 times up/.35 times down, 7 x .70 = 4.9 miles
- (next to the hill on the left is a jeep road) Run the jeep road to the port a potty and back, .50 miles
- Repeat the jeep road, except run past the port a potty to the first pic nic shelter on the right and back, .85 miles/1 mile
- Start back to my car on the road. Instead of going straight, to the lot, I turn right at the 4-way intersection. This will send me in the direction of a golf course/clubhouse. This is all road and all hill. 1.5 miles out and 1.5 miles back. 3.0 miles
- Treadmill: 15% for 2 miles
- Stats: 10 miles on trail/road 2300′ + 2 miles on the treadmill @ 15% incline 1500′
- 12 miles, 3800′
Chickering Two: (moderately technical)
- Park at the Chickering trail head
- Run the road from my car (straight at the 4-way intersection) to the hill on the red trail, .40 miles
- Repeat the hill climb to the right of the road, .40 times up/.40 times down, 6 x .80 = 4.8 miles
- Run across the road toward the jeep road and and pick up the red trail. Stay on the trail for 1.4 miles to the candy cane connector, turn left on the connector to the nature center for 1.0 miles. I run this as fast as I can. No stopping. 2.4 miles
- After a water stop at the Nature Center, I run back exactly the way I came via candy cane connector to right on red. This is a cool down pace. I do not walk, but I def slow down. 2.4 miles
- Run across the road and repeat the hill I started on, once. .80 miles
- Run back to car, straight through the 4-way intersection. .40 miles
- Stats: 11.2 miles trail 2195′
11.2 miles, 2195′
Chickering Three: (easiest, most road, least climbing)
- Park at the Chickering trail head
- Run from my car, left at the 4-way intersection, toward the golf course/club house. I run 1.66 miles from my car and 1.5 miles back to the stop sign. 3.16 miles
- Left at the 4-way intersection run on the road to the red trail. Take the hill to the right .40 up/.40 down x 3 x .80 = 2.4 miles
- Run up the same hill and continue on the trail until I reach the road (the road you cross for the last steep climb up and then down toward the Deep Wells trail head.) 1 mile
- I turn around at the road and repeat the short, rocky hill 4 times. .80 miles
- Head back to the trail head, where I started. 1 mile
- Run on the road, back toward my car. At the 4-way intersection, turn right and repeat the 3 miles out and back on the road, toward the golf course/club house that I ran at the beginning on the road. 3 miles
- Run back to my car, .16 miles
12.0 miles, 1535′