Tweak your hill sessions

 In Running

Knackered from hill repeats? Exhausted once you’ve ended your hill session. Think you have nothing more to give? Well, you do and here is why you should practice. 

Something I learned from running with Spanish Señoritas (and especially the pro mountain runners) is how they tackled their runs once they reached the top of a climb.


“Do your thing girls, do your thing. -Runningsisters”


They shot off. Yes, no matter how tired, hard or steep the climb was, they always shot off when reaching the top. I was left behind catching my breathe, almost puking, thinking that’s it. Never again. End of trailruns. Then I caught that breathe, started the engines again and got rolling. I rolled ok, but always wondered how to shoot off like they did. After all, I’m a fit girl.


Then I did a small change on my hill- and stair routine sessions. I maybe didn’t shoot off like they did, but I did notice a difference. Mostly in the mind.


Complete your hill session. Then keep those high heart beats and use them to shoot off into some speed. Maybe you need a micro recovery of 10 seconds to not puke, take those ten. But then go!


Use the endorphin’s that are released from higher heartbeats as your fuel. Start with 10 seconds, following week 30 seconds, 1 min, 1 km…. and so on. After a while you might even find yourself running one of your fastest kilometers ever.


This is more a mental muscle you’re training. No matter how exhausted you are, you always have more to give. Always. From practicing this I now find that if I push through those first tough 20 seconds after my last hill repeat, body goes into a high.

“There is no other time during my runs I feel stronger or more powerful.”


I know, you know, we all know – hills can exhaust even the most experienced runner. To be able to shoot off after your hill intervals, don’t waste your downhills. Use the downhills as recovery. Relax body, take control of your breathing and regroup mind for next interval.

I am not a fond uphill runner. Prefer flying in the downs. By doing this “shoot off” exercise I notice it has strengthened my uphill running and it’s always a nice feeling to end on a high after a training session. Especially the sessions you dread. Hopefully that will help me feel strong when I run my 100k. Follow me on my road to an ultra here.

Good luck and enjoy that runners high. Big hug!

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