Run for the hills!

I missed out on my run club’s track workout last night because I didn’t pay the fee for the track yet so I decided to do a mini hill workout and pursuaded Dave to go with me. …Let’s be real, I didn’t have to do much convincing, my guy loves hills. I had to tell him we weren’t doing the hills the other day when we went for a long run.

5 miles
46:18
Avg 9:17 pace

Thank goodness today is a rest day! Then to tackle my long run tomorrow morning! I can’t wait! Long runs are probably one of my favorite parts of training!

Do you like hill workouts?

I do, but I don’t feel fit enough yet to do a full on hill workout. I still am working on building my base mileage since I wasn’t too serious into running training after my HIM.

What are your favorite kind of hill workouts?

I have a love/hate relationship with hill sprints and I actually kind of like runs that have a lot of hills that I don’t worry about speed on.

What is your favorite part of training?

I love the long runs! It gives me some time to zone out and think about whatever I want!

Hills are your friend!

Today I did a hill workout.  Fueled up with some more Cliff Shot Bloks from Running with Sass.  I ran about a 1.5 miles to warm up and then went at it!

Workout Stats:

Short hills (11 repeats of about .15 miles ~ 240 m)
6 miles
53:27:07
8:55 avg pace

Because a friend of mine asked for some advice on hill workouts, I found it appropriate to post about it today.  I’m no pro, but I would love to give advice on my past experiences!  So here’s to you my dear Laura!

 

MY BACKSTORY

Back in the day, when I would run with Dave, he would want to go up the hills and I would wine like a little baby saying I wanted to go on flat ground.  Now, I crave the hills (OK I don’t COMPLETELY crave hills, but I like how I feel after them).  I don’t necessarily rock them all the time, but I love the challenge.  So how do I incorporate them into my workout?

 

MY WORKOUT

I used to do repeats on Thursdays and alternate with speed workouts.  However, now I am trying to incorporate hills on my Tuesday longer run.  This allows for me to get some endurance hill training.  I don’t go the fastest, but that’s not the point of the hills.

I can already see an improvement.  At the Boston Prep 16 miler, I was able to jog up every hill when others were walking.  I sped up the Foxboro 10 miler hills.  And the Hyannis ones seemed like a breeze!  The best advice I can give related to hills is to start running hills!

“Short hills”

10 minute warmup
4-8 hill repeats (depending on the steepness)

What do I mean by hill repeat?  You should run at a speed you can keep consistently that is just a little above your comfort zone up the hill.  Then jog down slowly.  Do this once, and then REPEAT! :)

“Hilly power run”

10 minute warmup (a little over a mile)
6-8 miles of hill repeats at whatever speed is comfortable on steep hills
10 minute cool down

*Make sure you include your warmup and cool down!

For some more suggestions read Head for the Hills (Runner’s World).  I still have yet to do the Hilly Long Run and Long Hill Circuits.

 

MOTHER NATURE OR THE “DREADMILL”

I personally love doing the hills outside.  I think its more representative of what you encounter in races.  However, I do have times I need to visit the treadmill, whether it is really icy or it’s too dark to go out and feel safe!  For situations like this, I found a website that gives some good suggestions on treadmill hill workouts.  Check it out here!

 

FORM

Uphill  (So Inclined, Runner’s World)

  • Pump your arms and use them to help you power up the hill
  • Press forward with your hips and avoid bending at the waist
  • Run with high knees, which will increase your stride and improve posture
  • Spring from your toes to propel you forward
Downhill (Going Downhill, Active.com)
  • Do not lean back and break heavily on heels
  • Do not overstride
  • Lean slightly forward and move with gravity
  • Shorten your stride
  • Relax your arms and shoulders
  • Don’t fight the increased speed

For more on form, check out This Way Up (Runner’s World)

 

FREQUENCY

I don’t do hills at every workout.  I think that my legs need some recovery time.  I will try to incorporate at least one hill in multiple workouts, but never a hill workout everyday!  I only deem ONE day a week as my designated hill workout day.

Muscle contraction due to running hills can cause you to be sore and you could injure yourself if you try to incorporate too many hill workouts too soon (Going Downhill, Active.com).  So take your time and slowly incorporate them into your workout.  I have run 3 marathons and just have started to incorporate hills for my 4th!

 

TIPS FOR SPECIFIC RACES

  • If you live near the course, run it!  Or if you have a sweet treadmill like Hungry Runner Girl that you can run courses, use that!
  • If you know when the elevation change will be tough, try to schedule hills in a similar time in your training runs.  For example, you know it is hilly on mile 9 of your half marathon, make sure you do hills then!  You have to train your body to do hills when it’s tired!

 

WHY?!

No matter what race you are doing, flat or hilly, incorporating hills into your weekly workouts will help you improve.  Keep in mind that you want to train not only uphill but also downhill because they affect your muscles in different ways.  Downhill works your quads

And remember that you don’t have to start with a very steep hill!  I started with hills of slight inclines and worked my way up.  I always find baby steps the best way to endurance running.  Soon you can become a king of the hill!

My most important tip!  Find a friend to run hills with.  It’s SO difficult to run hills by yourself and stay motivated.  I love having a friend there to push me!

Do you have a good hill workout I should try?
Variety is the spice of life!  I want to learn from you!

Do you prefer outside or treadmill hill workouts?
I love outside workouts in general.  I hate being caged up.  Running is my time to myself where I forget everything or a time for me to get out in the fresh air with my friends and chat!

What a tired Tuesday!

I was still so exhausted from this past weekend.  It is funny how you would think that having a holiday would leave me more rested, but I think I am more tired!  Despite my exhaustion, I got up bright and early today to catch the first train.  I headed for the hills!  It was SO cold this morning.  I seriously thought that my face might freeze off!

I didn’t really speed up the hills, but I was still glad that I did them.  My muscles need to get used to the torture during Boston Marathon!

 

Oh, the whole being exhausted thing reminds me of the other night when Ashley was saying that I looked tired and had to wake up.  I was of course a smart alec and told her, “No Ashley!  I am just Asian so my eyes are like that!”

I know it’s bad to tease yourself because of your race.  I think I automatically do it sometimes because when I was little I was teased because my eyes looked different (I went to a predominately white school) so I was just used to doing it to make myself feel better.  Now, I’m just proud of my eyes and looking different (minus the fact that I’m pretty much blind!).  My friends tease me and say I’m the whitest asian they know, but they still love me.  I hope to someday learn more about my Korean culture and visit!
This leads me to a humorous story of my past.  I was adopted hahahaha.  Just kidding that’s not the funny part.  But anyway, I was adopted when I was born.  So as you can imagine, I was a tiny baby when my parents got me.  When they brought me on a walk, the following conversation had happened:

The neighbor:  “I can’t wait to hear her first words!”

My mom:  “Why?”

The neighbor:  “What if they are Korean?!”

 

My only reaction when I heard this story was…REALLY?!  I always find it silly what people think sometimes.  But I know that sometimes I say things that I should have thought before I said them.  Lesson learned!

Were you ever made fun of as a child?
Do you ever find people’s reactions to things incredibly interesting?
Have you ever said something and wished you hadn’t?

Hills with a buddy!

I was SO excited for my hill workout yesterday!  My friend Jamie joined me!  I haven’t done a speed workout or hill workout with any of my running ladies in foooooooreeeevERRRR (Sandlot anyone?!).

I warned Jamie that I would want to take a picture of us for my blog – yup I’m that cool.  I didn’t warn her that I’d make her take it AFTER our workout.  Look we match and we didn’t even plan it!

We ran the hills of Beacon Hill.  For some reason, I never thought to do those hills, I always did the Beacon St. hill along the common.  Jamie is so smart!  We did about 2 miles of hills, which took us about 30 minutes.  I realized maybe we should have done more, but I had told Jamie I was OK with heading back after that.  I was so pooped from the steep hills!  I’m used to the Beacon Street hill.  Next week, I’m going to try to do my longer Tuesday run as a hill workout on the Beacon Hill hills!  I can’t wait!

But wait, get ready for this!  Not only did I get to run with one of my ladies this morning, but I got to see MORE of my ladies at a wine tasting at Central Bottle in Cambridge, MA!  We chatted about our upcoming races, how our training was going, and some fun stories.  One of which being a second encounter with a man while waiting in line at Starbucks who asked if he could Facebook one of my friends.  He asked if he could Facebook her because she had said she was dating someone (and she is, it wasn’t a lie!).  She told him he could if he could remember her last name because it is a “weird” one.  He agreed.  Later, my friend found out she had a new friend request from a man who had a strange last name….it dawned on her!  Last year she was running by the river and some man asked her out.  When she said she was dating someone, he asked if he could Facebook her.  She said she had a weird last name, but he said he did as well.  CREEPY!

So pretty much the conversation was great and the wine was so yummy!  I’m such a light weight though.  I felt tipsy after the one flight, which added up to just two glasses of wine.   With my flight, I got some treats… an eggplant rollatini with and a mushroom tart with bacon on top!  DELICIOUS!

A perfect Thursday! I LOVE IT!  It made me so excited to move back to the city, which will hopefully be soon!  I miss my girls!

Remember to enter the Hydration Belt Giveaway!  Which will be announced February 28th!  (Oops, I think I meant to put the 21st on my initial post…oh well, gives more people time to enter!)


Have you ever had a stalker or weird Facebook encounters?
What is your favorite non running activity to do with friends?