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I’m Running up that Hill

10 January 2012

Last week I ran four 5 mile runs, using two different routes: one flat, one hilly. I didn’t fancy either route this morning, so I left the house without a plan. I ended up zig-zagging around Crouch End for 6 miles over a mixture of hills and flat bits.

Over Christmas a friend expressed surprise that I, Not A Jogger, would ever give in and Walk during a Run. He was right, I’m always advising people to “run really really slowly but never walk”. In my defence, I’ve lost fitness and it’s really hilly, but that’s no excuse. As I was struggling up the first hill this morning I remembered something I had heard in a marathon talk podcast over the weekend. On the show, Tom and Martin had a ‘training talk’ segment about hills and how to tackle them in races. Tom discussed how, during his best ever race, he decided to run hills with an even heart-rate – not going above 162 on the way up, and not below 158 on the way down. To do this, he had to run very slowly on the way up, and really fast on the way down.

I don’t have a heart-rate monitor, but I decided to give this a go based on how out-of-breath I felt.

It worked!

I ran solidly for the whole 6 miles and managed to feel good at the brow of each hill instead of struggling to get my breath back all the way to the bottom. I also loved pelting it as fast as possible on the way down.

Highly recommended.

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