Thursday, March 26, 2009

Running faster.

This post is my contribution to this week's Take it and Run Thursday over at Runners' Lounge. The theme for this week is getting faster: tips, tricks and techniques.

Here's the big news . . . Get ready . . .

To run faster, you have to run faster.

I know! Crazy, right? Exactly. I mean, who would ever think such a thing? For ages, I sure didn't. I just ran and expected to get better. Meaning, to me, faster. For a while, that plan worked. I guess I probably increased the speed of my regular old runs little by little so maybe technically I was getting faster by running faster.

But not really.

At some point, I decided that I would like to improve. I would like to run faster in races than I was. Not fast fast. Just faster. So I decided I needed to train myself to run faster. To do that, I turned to hills. I started with short hill repeats. Then I found a longer hill and I did repeats there. My speed increased and I've loved hills ever since.

(OK, that's not the whole truth: I always kinda had a thing for hills. They're everywhere in my area of upstate NY so I had no choice. Plus, passing guys in their running prime on the tough hills would make a hill lover out of anyone!)

I believe in hills for increasing speed. I find running fast up them easier on my legs than flat speed work and they are very satisfying. You get to the top of a hill and, hi there! How cool do you feel? Very!

As I've, ahem, matured in my running I've added other speed work into my routine, like 800s and tempo runs, but I always come back to hills. I have two main hill workouts that I enjoy. My favorite is the hill/fartlek combo. I run up the hills in a particularly hilly route very hard and then run easier on the flat and downhill portions. That's an easy, sane workout. Hill repeats are my other one and they always make me feel a bit self-conscious because I know that anyone watching me is thinking that I am just one big weirdo. They're right, of course, but I don't always love feeling their vibes.

But, I do the repeats anyway. I have a quarter mile hill that isn't too steep and I run up it about 6-8 times after a warmup run. I jog (or walk, when I'm feeling lazy) back down.

Now, as I strive to run under 23 minutes for the 5k, I'm hoping my hill work carries me there!

~ Felice

25 comments:

X-Country2 said...

I love chicking guys anywhere, but a hill is EXTRA satisfying.

Jules said...

I love your blogs. you are truly an inspiration for me, the some day soon runner. :)

Roisin said...

Thanks for that! I will definitely be putting your speedy advice to work.

raulgonemobile said...

Ooh, another upstater! Hi!

I love running the hills too.. Been known to do hill repeats as well. The repeats usually stop after the people notice me coming by again and again. lol

Good advice

Chic Runner said...

Chicking guys is my life. ha ha I love love love it! :) hills are the best place to do it too. :) You are right, running faster is all about.. running faster. Grrrr!

tfh said...

Ooh, the hill-fartlek combo is a great one. And a quarter mile hill seems like the perfect distance for repeats. I'm smiling just imagining you passing guys in their running prime on tough hills...

aron said...

great post... and you are so right... run faster to get faster!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I like running hills, but i'm not sure they are making me faster...just stronger. I think you are spot on about running faster requires running faster....for me I think it's about turnover...training my legs to simply move faster.

Mel- Tall Mom on the Run said...

There is a .45 mile hill near my house. What distance would you recommend for repeats? Should I try the full hill or go part way up and turn?

I NEED to work on my hills, but have been totally avoiding it thus far. 14 weeks to my first long race.

Question from a Rookie Runner. THANKS!!

Mel

Abby said...

Great advice!

I'm integrating speed workouts for the first time this season, and I'm excited to see if it makes any difference come May.

Marlene said...

As you know, I'm aiming for a 5K around 23:00 this year too.... HILLS, here I come!

Natalie D said...

as soon as I started training faster I started PRing! go fast! good luck!

Velma said...

great post - so simple - but true. Even small changes in pace can pay off.

I Run for Fun said...

That's my next target...hills. I am frankly terrified of them. But I know I have to get over that fear.

J said...

I always think I look funny to when I do my hill workouts! Hills really are good for you! I am sure that they will help with your 5k!

Alisa said...

I've been really wanting to do hill repeats but just haven't gotten into a groove with them. I have a perfect .25 mile hill near me. I must start incorporating this into my workouts.

merrymishaps said...

Hmm, I guess I should have read the already-done TiART posts before writing mine ... we have a very similar intro!

Rookie on the Run said...

This is good information! I will have to incorporate speed work soon. I'm liking hills now so maybe that will help. :)

The Laminator said...

I think the feeling you get from chicking guys on hills is the feeling I get racing the recreational biker...yeah, they'll blow right by me once we get to the top, but for a split second, I am champ! Haha. That's my kind of hill training.

But the way you write about hills makes me think that sub-23 5K is definitely in your future!

MizFit said...

Im with jules as, even though Im not a runner now, I love to stop by here and run vicariously until I am.

have a great weekend.

Miz.

Oz Runner said...

great post and blog....one of these days i may try to get faster....

Tina said...

Enjoyed reading a bunch of your posts today... You're lucky to live near some real hills. I just don't get the same "top of the hill" experience when I do hill work on the treadmill!

RunToFinish said...

wait.. I have to work on running faster. well crap then I quit.

I was right in the think of Yasso's when I got hurt, so I'm going to have to ease back to speed work but it really does pay off

Diana said...

You do so great....someday maybe I'll get to liking it. For now, I'll join the list of vicarious fans as well!

lindsay said...

wow! someone who enjoys hill work! i'll have whatever you are having. i need to not-dread them :)

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