Monday, June 17, 2013

Over The Hill

Improve Your Running. Now that's a broad topic. What exactly do you want to improve? Endurance? Speed? Distance? Well one way you can improve all of these areas is to head for the hills. 
For a beginner like me, "hill training" sounds like a dirty word but the more you do it the more you will like it. For me this was a hard concept to grasp but then again, the idea of pounding pavement for fun was completely absurd to me only a few years ago. 
So what makes running hills so vital to a runner? Not only will you gain strength but you will run faster. I actually saw the results of all my hill workouts when I ran the PEI Runway Run . A flat 5k course. 
All my training routes are filled with hills anywhere from 50m to 200m long. Somedays I find them difficult, while others I plow through them but have never really liked running hills. As I approached a hill, I looked at it with dread, feeling the blanket of exhaustion drape over me. 

Knowing that some of the races I have signed up for include a few significant inclines I decided to do some research on How To Tackle Hill Training. It's hard work, but all goals are hard work, that's what makes it feel so good when you achieve it. And so, on the PEI runway I learned how important hill training is. On this flat race course I managed to shave 2 ½ min. off my 5k time. 

Now, when I head out for a run I embrace the hill, I  hold my head up, eyes focused on the horizon not the pavement, set my mind to overcome it and when I reach the top I can't help but give a little punch in the air - a physical "YES! I DID IT!"

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