Hills the best workout to return to running
Post lockdown, its been really difficult to get back to fitness or your running form.
Even more difficult has been to stay positive while running when you feel unfit.
In theory everyone goes through this but there’s no help in feeling depressed and feeling the guilt for not enjoying the one thing you always loved, running.
Unfortunately, there is not a fixed amount of time for how long it gets to running fit, but I would like to share with you one of the workouts i believe will help speeding up getting back to shape
The best part about hill repeats and hilly runs.
Whatever be the level of fitness you are at , running up hills is going to be hard and you get out of breath when the hill turns to flat surface.
You always wonder when running is going to be easy, but it doesn’t .
Same is this.
One of the most effective thing is getting a tough workout without getting boring.
Hills are more intense than flat grounds and you can get a solid workout without spending hours.
You can get as tough a workout in 20-30 minutes running hills compared to an hour on flats.
The best part of running hills is you do not need paces. You just need to run as hard as you need to complete the workout .You can always compare your run times with your previous hill run timings.
Hills help build strength and an aerobic base for you improve upon. Also the impact from pounding is minimized sine hills slow you down.
When it comes to workouts you have unlimited options depending upon what is available.
One thing you should note is that the hill should take atleast 1 minute to reach up.
You can sprint up and ease off while coming down, this can be repeated a couple of times.
Hills which have a constant climb of around 300 mtrs straight can be used to do splits for e.g you sprint 100 mtrs then jog for 50 mtrs sprint again 100 mtrs jog and repeat a couple of times .
If you live in a place which has long uphills, say around 5-6 kms try running up the hill a couple of times continuously .
You will be breathing hard and getting a good run drill.
Try not to run very fast , the pace of your last repeat should be same as the first one.
Structure the runs.
Run all the way up, then jog down half way down, again run all the way up , jog 3/4 way down, then again run all the way up, jog the full way down.
You could also do it the other way, run 1/2 the way up jog down, then run 3/4 way up jog down, then run the full and jog all the way down.
This makes running fun also.
Warm up first and cool down afterwards as running up hills can be aggressive to your muscles and joints. You need to ensure a good dynamic warm up. Later the body needs to come back to normal, so a cool down is equally important
Please be very careful with the first half of the workout since hills are easy to go too hard and you become unable to finish the workout .Treat the first few sets as regular workouts and you will still end up breathing hard.
After you are halfway through, you can start pushing yourself a little harder, carefully though not trying to fight the hills .
These workouts can be really fun and will continue to surprise your muscles.
Rajnish Goswami, obese till 2015, successfully completed multiple Marathons and Ironman half distance and full distance races. He is a fitness enthusiast and an avid reader of sports science