Incline or hill workouts are a great way to prepare yourself for running outdoors, target different muscles than flat running (specifically gluts and hamstrings), and burn more calories.
Guidelines: For each option, do a 5-10 minute warm-up and cool down at a slow to medium pace. The average total length of your workout should be about 30-45 minutes. Repeat the intervals as needed to make your time goal. Focus on form as your incline gets higher. Drive your elbows back and bend the elbows slightly more than flat running.
1. Jumping Around – 4 x 5-minute hill repeats. Perform a 2-minute easy jog at 2.0 incline for recovery between each incline ‘set.’
Set 1: 5 minutes at 4 percent incline;
Set 2: 5 minutes at 5 percent incline;
Set 3: 5 minutes at 6 percent incline;
Set 4: 5 minutes at 7 percent incline;
2. Long Hills – 2 x 20-minutes at 5 percent incline. Keep the speed moderate. The idea is to stay aerobic, keep the heart rate low and work on your uphill running technique. After the first interval, recover for two to three minutes with 1.0 incline, then start the second interval.
3. Climb the Mountain – Each minute increase your incline by 0.5 until you are halfway through your workout, then begin to decrease your incline by 0.5 until you are finished. Be sure to pick a pace you can keep at a high incline!