This week, Andrea Karl explains her long hill repeat workout. Karl has been dominating the St. Louis Racing scene the past year. She picked up wins in the Marathon at GO! St. Louis in April and the MO’ Cowbell in October. She recently finished second in the Skippo 20k race and has used the workout below to get in shape for all of these races.
Long hill repeats
For this workout, I like to find a hill that has a noticeable, long incline to run up (for example, the hill on Skinker Blvd at the edge of Forest Park). The length of each repeat may vary from 300 meters to 800 meters depending on the grade or length of the hill. Each repeat is run uphill at a hard effort (e.g. 3K-5K race effort), with a recovery jog downhill to the starting point between each. The number of repeats depends on the length and difficulty of the hill. I may do 5-6 repeats for a 600m moderate incline, while I may do 12 repeats for a 300-400m moderate incline.
When is a good time to run this workout?
This is a great workout to incorporate into any road race training regimen, especially for local St. Louis races that have rolling hills. It really just makes for a great mid-week workout in general.
Why do you like this workout?
This workout trains your legs to tackle hills during a race or long run, especially when you are starting to fatigue. You don’t really have to worry about starting out too fast during the interval, as the incline has a way of evening out your pace. I love how there is no need for a watch with this workout, as your pace is based on effort. I also tend to get a little extra motivation to push myself on hill repeats, because I start to feel like Rocky Balboa each time I reach the top!
When did you last run this workout and how did it go?
I did this workout with the Big River Racing Team a few weeks ago before the Skippo 20k trail race. I did 5 X 600 meters up the Skinker hill after a 3-mile progressive warm up. The workout went pretty well, and I definitely had to dig a little to push through the last repeat. That is always a good sign for me that I was pacing myself appropriately. I want to feel pretty tired at the end of any workout, but I also don’t want to burn myself out before the end of it.