Why Hill Workouts are Worth the Effort

  • The Puma Running Team
  • Written on:

Whether you work with a coach or create your own workout plan, hill workouts always seem to make the list. Common as hill workouts are, it’s very tempting to ask “Why am I doing this?” – especially when you’re pushing yourself up hill after hill. 

Your legs burn, your arms and shoulders ache from pumping harder than usual … and it’s just your first repetition. So what makes hill workouts a training necessity?

More productive training time: Running uphill for the same distance you would cover on a normal training day takes more work over the same amount of time. That means that if you have a hectic schedule, or if you want to get the most out of a training session, a hill workout can save you time or maximize your effort.

Running form: The strange feeling of running up or down an incline makes you more aware of your running form. When you run uphill, the more efficient your form, the more comfortable and quick you feel; running downhill, the better your balance and control, and the smoother your stride is to the bottom.

Speed: When you run against gravity, your muscles have to work much harder to move as fast as they would on level ground. Repeatedly training under this resistance conditions your muscles to fire faster and more powerfully, raising your overall speed potential.

Endurance: By pushing your body to its limits up each hill, and allowing for a healthy yet limited recovery time before you do it again, you train your body to go longer without fatigue. As painful as your hill workouts may seem, they will help you run farther and harder before you wear yourself out.

These are just a few of the perks of hill workouts, but what’s your take on them – do you love them, hate them, have they made you faster? Share your thoughts in the comment box below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image courtesy of jharpblog.blogspot.com