Every runner wants to get faster. You get faster by training faster, but speed can kill—putting a quick end to your performance dreams if you get injured or burnt out.
Enter hills. Running hills can provide a foundation for speed and allow for a smooth, safe transition to later-season, intensified speed workouts.
When you’re just starting to build up fitness for the season, it makes sense to start easy and work your way into harder and longer sessions. As a coach, I’ve learned over the years that hill work is a great primer for the body as it prepares for more work and more intense work. If we consider base work/easy aerobic runs as the foundation of training for longer aerobic events, hill training is the foundation of high aerobic/high lactate work.
Hills allow the athlete the opportunity to get in resistance work (thanks gravity!), form work, and, by their very…