The secret to enjoyable uphill running

I used to dread hill training. In my book it meant slogging your guts out, an eyeballs out effort that left you hanging at the top, only to be repeated the moment you got down again. I hated it, and therefore, sadly avoided it, and did not enjoy running uphill. I wonder if any of you feel the same?

So imagine my surprise on actually finding I ENJOYED my Power Hour of hill training intervals last night. “What’s the secret to that?” I hear you shout. Well, the secret is very simple. Don’t go all out on the uphills, go at 85% of your Max HR. Then recover at 75% on the way down. This is on my training plan from my coach Rory Coleman, who’s training me for the 6-day 225km Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica this February.

Work out your Max HR by taking your age away from 220. Then times that number by 0.85 to find out 85% effort, and so on for any other level. This means I steadily move up the hill with my heart banging away at a nice, maintainable 161 beats per minute. I’m breathing well, but not dying from the effort, and I can even lift my head an enjoy the vista from the hill I’m on.

So that’s the secret. Don’t tell anyone, they’ll start beating us in races…;)

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