Run – Hill Workout for Treadmill

hills

I’m running a race in Tennessee in a few weeks – the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival 10-miler, to be specific. It’s in a town I’m not very familiar with, so I’ve been doing a little internet hunting to find people’s race recaps from previous years. What have I learned? It will be hot. Tennessee in June, duh. It will also be hilly.

Funny thing, there aren’t very many hills here in Minot, North Dakota. Actually, there are none to be had on the base, which is where I do all of my running. With the kids out of school for the summer, I’m going to be hard-pressed to get very many outdoor runs done at all. My only idea so far is to head over the the middle school track (it’s fenced) and hope that the kids will play happily while I run. Hope being the key word there. The only way I’m going to get any practice on hills is to simulate them on a treadmill.

I tried to make up my own hill workout for the treadmill on Monday. It went…okay. I kept my usual pace and upped the incline every few minutes until my legs couldn’t take it anymore. This morning, I showed up at the gym with a better plan in place.

I found an article on Runner’s World called Four Great Treadmill Workouts. I chose to try The Pyramid today.

Here’s what you do:

Set 1: steady pace 1 minute each @ 4, 5 and 6 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 2: steady pace 1 minute each @ 5, 6 and 7 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 3: steady pace 1 minute each @ 6, 7 and 8 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 4: steady pace 1 minute each @ 7, 6 and 5 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 5: steady pace 1 minute each @ 6, 5 and 4 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

By the third and fourth set, I was flat worn out. I think I maybe made it up to a 6% incline on Monday. It definitely wasn’t 8%. I had to drop my speed down pretty slow to survive it, but I did it! It took me about 30 minutes to complete all 5 sets. Don’t feel bad if you have to practically walk during those recovery minutes. By the end, I had to.

Once I get to Tennessee, I’ll find some real hills to practice on, but until then, the Pyramid will be my go-to.

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