…with the sound of me panting while running up them? Hmmm, not quite as an attractive mental picture as Julie Andrews spinning around in Switzerland but you get the point.
Or do you? Well, folks, my point is that hills are important to run up and down, especially if you’re training for a race or making an effort to become a better runner.
I was born running hills. Erm, that sounds silly but you know what I mean. I grew up in the foothills of the Berkshire mountain range and where I live, we count the miles by the hills. As in, going up and down a hill is usually about one mile.
You wanna run up and down dees hills? Yeah, that’s what I thought! On a side note, photos like these make me desperately want to escape the urban decay landscape of New York City and head for the…Well, you know.
Anyways, my track and field attempts in high school were punctuated by running up and down hills. When I went to college in Central New York, it was the same deal; hills, hills and more hills.
So now I live in New York City, where hills are few and far between. My favorite running route is on Riverside Park, since it’s mere steps from my door. But the route is completely flat, with almost no incline to speak of (that’s what happens when you run down by the river. At least I’m not livin’ in a van down by the river, right?)
So yesterday I put my money where my mouth is and hit the hills in Central Park. I had a session with a client and we did the simplest workout ever. I picked out a hill on the north side of the park and we ran up and down it without stopping for 25:00. Sounds easy, right? It wasn’t bad but believe me when I tell you my quads were feeling it afterwards.
So, moral of the story? Throw a hill or two into your usual run. If you can, pick one or two days a week where you focus on hills. As much as they suck to run, getting up and down them makes you a stronger, faster, better runner.
How do you feel about hills? Do you avoid ‘em like the plague or tackle them with gusto?