Friday, August 18, 2017

What To Love About Hills

Yesterday when V woke up from his nap, he was still super tired.  He didn't want to go back to sleep but he laid like this for a half hour while I rubbed his back to help him stop crying. He can be a hard boy, but he sure is sweet too.

Then he got up and decided that instead of a back rub, I needed to brush his hair. He has a thing for brushes. He LOVES getting his hair brushed right now.

Which explains why I couldn't find my brush anywhere when I got up to run this morning. I ended up using my round brush to get enough tangles out to put it up in a ponytail.

After my run, and getting J off to school, I made some eggs that turned into a big egg. Right now if I'm eating eggs, it has to be fried. Scrambled used to be my favorite, but lately, fried eggs have been what hits the spot.


I did hill repeats this morning for my run.  I used to hate running hills, I dreaded every one of them. But I actually really like running hills now. This could be because just about every run I go on has at least one hill in it, or it could be because I've realized how much hill workouts do for you.

I thought that the trick I found to get good running pictures would work, but it didn't....I'm now thinking it's just my phones fault....or maybe I just need more practice. 

Hill workouts can replace some of your speed workouts. Hills help you improve your leg turn over which makes you faster.

Running hills also increases your endurance.  After doing some hill workouts here and there, going on your long run won't feel quite so hard, you might even be able to add an extra mile or two on.

I love hill workouts now because the biggest difference I've seen in my running came from running more hills than I used to.  When you know your race has some hills in it, you're definitely going to want the practice from running up hills without getting too tired to keep going once you're at the top. And just think of how much faster you're going to be able to run a flatter race when you've worked hills for a while.   Also, think about all those races that have a (or a few) big hills in them and how everyone always dreads those hills and how everyone always seems so beat after those hills.  What would it be like to be able to cruise up those hills and then feel like you can keep going? When you practice hills, it will be easier to get through them come race day.

I also love hills because I feel like they give me a good mental challenge as well as a physical challenge. Most runs do this to some extent, but I feel like running hill repeats like I did today, helps me focus on form and remind myself that I can get through tough things. Today I found myself repeating "I can do anything one more time" over and over again when I started to think I was done mentally.  This is something I used to tell myself when I was running on the treadmill all the time. "I can do anything for 3 more minutes." "This is nothing! If I can run like this for 10 minutes one time, I can do it again." These kinds of exercises help me push through a lot of mental barriers and make big progress in my mentality and in my run.

So here are some ways to incorporate hills into your runs.

- The most obvious: Find a hill to run repeats on. Start easy by giving yourself a goal of up 3, down 3 (down hill work helps a lot too).  Run up the hill at a moderate pace and then slow your pace when you start on the down hill. Take a break, stretch and reset before you start again. When you feel like you can add more, do that.

- Add a hill into your regular routes. When you know it's hill day but you want to just add a hill or two into your run instead of focusing only on hills, find a hill near by one of your routes and just plan your run around that hill. This one is probably the easiest way to get a hill run.

- If you need to run inside, use the incline button on the treadmill to do hill repeats, or just to mix things up during your run. Alternate between incline and flat. Not every hill is the same so adjust the incline settings so that you're not always running up the same grade of incline.

What is your favorite way to eat eggs?

What workouts do you feel help you improve the most?

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