Running hills to increase speed, it works!

If you’ve read my blog recently, you may know that MacGyver and I have been on a few vacations over the last few weeks. We had a wedding in Virginia and then spent a week in Venice, FL with my Sister and her family.

During those vacations, I still managed to get in some running, though I had slightly fewer miles the week we were in Virginia I ran some seriously nice hills and running all those hills have been very beneficial and I mean besides tightening up my backside up a bit ;).

Rolling hills in Virginia:

Hills in Virginia

When I was running in Venice last week, I was surprised to notice that during a 4 mile run, I ran 1 of those miles in under 8 minutes, 7:49 to be exact, yeah, I know! And I actually ran 3 miles in 25 minutes.

And since I’ve been home I’ve had a few 5k practice runs with an average pace of around 8:48 and this is dead summer people. It’s ridiculously hot and humid outside and I never run less than a 9 minute mile in the summer, and I mean never, ever!

I’m totally giving credit where credit is due because I run speed drills, 400 repeats, 800 repeats and fartleks religiously, but I never get results like I have seen in the last week. I know it has to do with all the hills! Without a doubt.

Unfortunately, I live in Florida and what few hills we do have I think I may be allergic to and I tend to avoid them at all cost but that may all be changing soon. Based on the results I’ve seen this week, I think I may have to put a few hill runs into the rotation and I’m going to be starting that real soon.

Do you run a lot of hills? Do you think it helps with your overall
speed?

6 thoughts on “Running hills to increase speed, it works!

  1. I agree! Hills will help both your stamina and speed. I run mostly trail, and just spent a weekend in Damascus, Virginia running some mountain trails. Those really hurt, but they are great training!

    • Kudos to you for those trail runs. I took a look at your blog and those look tough and they are great for training.

  2. I agree. I live in Missouri and this entire state is nothing but hills! As much ad I dread seeing hills during my runs, they have definitely been making me faster. I’ve only done 2 speed work sessions all summer so I know it’s the hills. My pace time was around 9:40 at the start of summer and now I’m down to 8:30 avg. and during races I’m even less.

    I’ve read the trick to hills is to run at the same effort, not the same pace as flat ground. I repeat that mantra in my head as I’m running up the hill.

    • 8:30 average is awesome and I love your mantra. It is definately true that you need to run at the same effort and not the same pace. Running hills is so much harder that if you try to keep the same pace you would likely injure yourself, (unfortunately, I speak from experience), but I am definately adding a hill work out or two into my training from now on. Well, that is, if I can find some in Florida….

  3. I live in the Oakland hills (CA) and do the vast majority of my runs in the hills. I think it’s definitely helped my speed and stamina too. Running on vacation is really hard-so great job!

    • Thanks Mimi, I have had to get quite creative to be able to run on some of our vacations and you just gave me an idea for a post on the subject. Keep running those hills, they definately help!

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