I can’t run fast, and I can’t run long distances, but I can run hills.
I didn’t always love to run hills, in fact, I used to avoid hills as much as possible during my runs. But then I realized that being a slow runner actually helps me on the hills.
No matter how slow I go uphill, I still feel like I am getting in a good workout. I don’t need to beat myself up if I am barely moving faster than a snail, because I am running uphill! And when I finally manage to make it up a particularly long or steep hill that has been kicking my butt, the feeling of accomplishment can’t be beat. Running is a great leg workout in itself, but running uphill works out my quads and hamstrings like nobody’s business, and I love it.
My method for getting myself up the hills is simple, I break it into small chunks. I am a huge fan of the Couch to 5k and Bridge to 10k running programs and I use those for my hill circuits. I just pick a run/walk interval that feels manageable based on my energy level and the difficulty of the hills and go. Sometimes I can run up giant hills without stopping and sometimes I have to break it up into 90 seconds of running and 60 seconds of walking, it all depends. But no matter what, when I get to the top of the hill I feel good. Another great thing about running hills is that running the flat parts in between the hills actually feels like I am taking a break.
Now that the weather is cooling off I am going to try to do a hill workout several times a week, I am going to have quads of steel!