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Hills: It's a love|hate thing...

Fly Feet Hills Blog

Love-hate relationships are very real at Fly Feet. And it is about to get even more real as Stride takes on it’s month of hill training.


We all know the moment when the coach says, “… and this time you’re running at ___% incline!!” We understand the groans, the sassy faces, allllllll the eye rolls, but let me tell you this. YOU’RE WELCOME. Here are several reasons why hills/incline/dynamic mode are the best training for you:


First off, let’s all say a quick friendly hello to reality. There are hills out there! Nobody lives life on a treadmill or a track so we are just prepping you for the breath-taking hikes, the stairs versus the escalator, West River Road, and the countless other climbs you will take in your life. Every climb you take will still get you out of breath, your legs will still get tired, and it will feel intense no matter what, but your ability to go faster for longer will improve greatly. This can also be used as an overall metaphor for life. It’s the climb, I tell ya. 


Scientifically-speaking, hill training provides an incredible amount of improvement in muscular strength, endurance, anaerobic capacity, and power.  Working against gravity requires the body to produce a ton of force so the amount of leg power needed greatly increases. This means that it is going to take time and practice to get stronger, but that buildup of strength will without a doubt happen. {Hello fitter, faster, stronger!} Hills greatly impact the intensity of a run and depending on the length or duration of the hill it can improve your aerobic and anaerobic capacity. When working in short fast bursts, think dynamic mode, is where we maximize on power and anaerobic sprint work. Longer hills that increase the heart rate, but require a bit more stamina will increase your endurance training capabilities. So be prepared to experience a mix of all of the above in Stride this month.


Lastly, it’s an awesome way to improve on your running form. A few of the body mechanics that we address involve leaning into the hill, striking the belt with the ball of your foot, and driving your knees. In order to be most efficient in our stride we have to utilize all of these mechanics. Leaning into the hill from the ankles teaches us to work with gravity rather than against in a very upright position. As you drive your knees through each stride you will find that the foot meets the belt sooner and it will naturally shorten your stride. This is where we can be efficient by striking with our midsole versus our heels. 


So if you’re not in love with the idea of a hill workout, I get it. But if you want to become a better runner then it’s without a doubt one of the best training methods to incorporate into your training. Hope to see you in Stride soon! 


All Hail the TreadMighty,


P.S. It’s a short month so the hills won’t last that long.