I've ever never really done a "hill workout" before but rumor has it hill workouts can be just as beneficial as tempo or track workouts. I believe the general way to do it, is find a nice sized hill that is somewhere between 1/2 a mile and 1 mile (probably shorter, I'm really not sure) long and run up and down it until you have reached your desired distance... or you keel over. This to me sounds kind of tedious and not much better than the tempo workout I had planned, so, instead I decided to run up and down all (well a bunch of) the hills in my neighborhood. Basically, I zig zagged back and forth through my neighborhood going up and down the streets. I hit every street on the way out and every odd street on the way back. I worked it so that I would run up one of the hills that will be part of the Eugene Marathon "the right" direction twice. Here's what the elevation profile looks like on "paper":
|elevation profile compliments of geocontext.org|
Actually the peaks look a lot more intense than they really were, if you look at the numbers the biggest gain wasn't even 100 feet.... but they were still hills and I ran them. And... it was a lot of fun! It might have had something to do with the fact that I was running without the stroller... that would have definitely made it unbearable... I've done hills while pushing the stroller, definitely not an easy task. I think mostly though, I enjoyed it because it was something different. I managed to cover a little over 7 miles while staying within a 6 block radius of my house and I wasn't running in circles. My only real complaint was that the sidewalks were pretty uneven and I almost fell a couple of times running down the hills. I was wearing my headlamp but had to be pretty cautious. I think had I done it during the daylight I would have been able to make better time. On the other hand, by running in the early morning there wasn't any traffic so I didn't have to stop at any of the cross streets... this might have been a different story if I had run later in the day (or not during spring break).
Do you do hill repeats? Maybe you could give me some advice on the proper way to do it, ie... How steep should the hill be? Is it best to do the same hill over and over?