I had to chuckle on Wednesday when some of our new Couch to 5K runners ‘enjoyed’ their first SE Fitness Hills session. Ravi who joined in January sent a message which said “We did hill runs today which was great!!”
For the first part of 2019 I wanted us to focus on building our aerobic fitness and getting into the routine. Six weeks in and, with so many of us training for longer runs in the Spring, it’s important to put some more emphasis on strength endurance. Hills are one of the ways we do that but running cross-country and battling into the wind also work. Basically any run where there is added resistance will be working on your strength endurance. This makes you stronger, it makes you more efficient and it helps your technique. All these factors can help to keep injury at bay.
When we run hills we are working against resistance and so building strength-endurance. We also make sure we practise driving our arms and picking up our knees so working on good technique. On the shorter hills we push hard and move like a sprinter which works on our speed. These are the reasons we incorporate hills into the SE Fitness programme!
There’s a great article here from RunBritain describing different hill sessions with different aims. I hope we have a good range here at SE Fitness but I read with interest about the suggestion for a ‘big dipper’ which is one to help prepare legs for the greater impact of ‘downhill’ running. I seem to remember a very steep downhill section on the ‘Cathedral to Castle’ race. Perhaps we need to incorporate a ‘big dipper’ into our training sometime soon? If you can think of a good location let me know!