Monday, May 12, 2008

The Hills (not the ones on MTV)

Good morning runners! I hope you are all feeling lovely and rested after a beautiful weekend. I know I am. However, I do have that rabid dog feeling that can only mean one thing…I NEED TO RUN. So it’s a great thing that I will be doing just this after school today. I know my colleagues and students will gratefully appreciate it.

Congrats to those of you that ran in the Mother’s Day Run yesterday. I know there were some first timers out there…way to go! You did it. That’s just awesome. Hopefully you had a great experience that left you hankering for more, more, more!

Ahhhhhh…MONDAY! Can’t really think of a better day to tackle hills and stairs! I know- many of you are groaning to yourselves, but training hills and stairs really do make you a better long distance runner- I promise. Depending on the course you are planning to run for your future marathon, you absolutely need to be getting in some hills- most runs are not totally flat after all! Case in point- BOSTON…oh the hills, the hills! There were lots of them- I felt like I was almost always on a hill. But I was ready for them because I train a lot of hills. And let me tell you, there is NOTHING more satisfying than blowing by people on hills.

There are many, many different ways to do hills. The simplest- find a hill- a big one, preferably and run up it several times. Run up it and jog down it…give yourself a minute or so to rest and do it again! The rest should be active recovery because if you just stop moving the lactic acid will pool in your muscles and this does not feel good my friends. So keep moving! Myself, I prefer light jogging. I also incorporate the hills and stairs in with my regular run, so it looks something like this…

Run- 20 minutes for warm up
3-5 Hill repeats
Run 25 minutes
3-5 sets of stairs
Run 20 minutes

And done!

For those of you who live in the Calgary area and train the Elbow river pathway, there are some excellent hills and stairs in this area for you to tackle…

Stairs- the Glencoe club stairs- yes, THOSE stairs. Perfect for training as there are lots of them!
The hill in Sandy Beach that is just before the suspension bridge that links this area to Brittainia. This is a brilliant hill- very, very steep and tough.
The hill that links Sandy Beach to the River Park dog park. Again- a VERY tough hill- it has a steep and a gradual part.

For those of you that don’t run in this area, hills are really not that hard to come by. There are hills all over the place, after all. The hard thing about hills is just doing it! GOOD LUCK!

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