Running up that Hill

Saturday 28th May 2011

No, this is not a music blog. I’m not referring to the Kate Bush song, excellent though it is, nor am I referring to Placebo’s equally brilliant cover. This is about some of the training I’ve been doing recently.

Having fallen on a run a few weeks ago, I have been suffering from some muscle tissue damage in my right knee and have gradually been trying to regain strength in it and not lose too much fitness. Two weeks of almost no running were followed by two more of some jogging combined with massage and icing on my knee. I have not been able to train on track but have realised that running hard up hills has a similar training effect but is much less punishing on my knee.

Hill sessions were an element of my training that I had neglected in the past, prefering to do either speed or endurance sessions on the track, but as I stood breathlessly slumped against a wall after my 8th and fastest hill rep on Thursday evening, I realised that hill sessions are the real deal. You get the same anaerobic workout as you do on the track and a nice long recovery as you jog down the hill.

My particular favourite is shown below, a hill that starts flat and gets steeper and steeper as your legs fill with lactic acid. It is also exactly 400m, so although you can’t compare your times to one lap of the track, you’re doing well if you can get close.

Even once my knee heals, I’ll still be running up that hill.

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