Hills – why, oh why!

Hill sessions are one of those ones where you look at and think ‘no way’ straightaway, they are evil, they are hard work, I’m going to ache for days after, so why bother?

Kruisers run two type of hill sessions, long hills similar to what you’ll encounter in a race or a long run and shorter, more intense hill sessions.

Looking at the short hill session only in this post, this type of hill typically lasts between 30 to 40 seconds, so is very explosive. This is designed to help to build strength and speed, which is brilliant training for your 5k to 10k distances. This also can help your form, as you are really using the arms, pushing them backwards as you work hard on the hill, which helps you when you’re on the flat.

With the three types of hill reps we do on the short hill sessions, these are designed to target different scenarios and muscles. 

Kruisers working hard on the hills

Kruisers working hard on the hills

The first set is not just about getting up the hill at pace, but also after a short recovery, adding in a 50m sprint down a slope. Sprinting down hill is also something we rarely do, surely having just got up that damn hill, we can take our time coming down! Wrong, doing these short efforts helps to stretch the muscle fibres in your leg, which will again help with speed and strength.

The second set is the one people tend to remember, the magical, moving cones! These are slightly steeper hill reps, again only lasting for 30-50 seconds, and then turn and gently jog back down again and wait for your turn to do it again, but strangely on your second go up, the cone has moved back, so you have longer to run up, and this continues to happen throughout the set, until it is around 50m away from where it started, how is that possible!!! ? This set is not about being strong on the hill but also about what happens when you get to the top of a hill, do you normally stop, enjoy the views and stroll down again? Some might, but most won’t, which is why we are looking to make you continue to work hard, using your form, standing up straight, continue pumping your arms and pushing on after you have cracked that hill.

The third part of the session is all around power, this is the steepest part of the hill, the aim is just to get to the top, working hard all the way up, maintaining your form and not quitting before the top, this will really work your quads hard, get your heart pounding (you’ll train your heart to pump more blood with each stroke. This increases the amount of oxygen delivered to your muscles and organs and has a major, positive impact on your stamina. As you train, your heart rate decreases, enabling you to push yourself harder and longer*) and being on your toes will really activate your calfs.

By the end of the session,  

  • you’ll have climbed up to 700ft, 
  • done over 18 hills, 
  • burned lots of calories (around 20% more than on a normal run) 
  • worked muscles that haven’t been worked for a while, 
  • and help build a stronger heart!

Think of this as your running HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout and then recall why you enjoy hills so much. 

The next planned Hills session with Rick is on Sunday 15th March at Christchurch Park.

Below is a link to an article on the benefits of hill intervals:

One thought on “Hills – why, oh why!

  • 08/03/2020 at 17:27

    Hills sessions – hate then and strangely love them!
    They are really useful and have definitely helped me