Thinkin’ hilly…’n stuff

After chatting with my sis about her recent success (asslap, sis!) with tackling her first hill-style interval workout yesterday, I got to thinking about my own “relationship” with hills when running.

…which quickly blew up into a much bigger topic once the wheels started turning. (typical!)

To start – I thought about how I approach hills when I run. I really can’t avoid them all that much in my neighborhood since I’m sort of surrounded by them so they’ve never really “scared” me so much as I’ve just dealt with them and learned to push through them over time. I rarely, however, use much of an incline when I run on the treadmill though and I got to thinking about that fact.

So sure, I’m pretty decent on hills when I run outside…but how does that change when I’m facing far less hills in the winter (due to fewer outdoor runs and much more time on the ‘mill)? I’m sure it’s doing me no favors in the winter months not to be doing much in the way of hill work except on the rare occasions that I get to tackle them outside in the chilly winter months.

So I resolved right then and there to start incorporating hill work into my running plans this winter. It could translate into every-other-week hill-style intervals vs. straight-up speedy intervals. Or, it could translate into one of my steady-state runs including hill work, particularly as the winter months drone on and steady state treadmill jaunts grow more and more tiresome. And it most certainly means making sure that my outdoor runs still include any and all routes where hills are involved. Just for good measure.

But what this little exercise also reminded me of? That anyone can be the victim of a plateau or falling into the “well, I’m already pretty good at that so…” mindset. In other words – don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a rut or a routine just because “it’s how you’ve always done it.”

I want to apply this to all of my workouts from now on. 

Not that I’ve felt like I’ve hit a wall or anything with my workouts, but more because I never want to get complacent. I don’t want to hit the barre and feel like “I’ve done this workout before…” I want every trip to barre n9ne to feel new and challenging and shake-worthy. Same goes for each run – inside or out. I want to walk away from each run feeling as if I left nothing to spare. No speed left on a speedy day. No leg stamina left on a hill day. No endurance left on a long distance day.

This isn’t me being all hard core and crazy. Nope. This is just me never taking my workouts for granted by phoning them in. To me, there is nothing worse than complacency –not just with workouts, but in any area in life. Always be looking for ways to grow, change, evolve.

…to me – that’s what this lifetime is about – living your best life right now, and always working for that personal “best”…even if it stings a little. 😉


23 thoughts on “Thinkin’ hilly…’n stuff

  1. Girl, I hear you on the hills. I stopped running in our neighborhood after my IT band injury last year and b/c I just didn’t feel comfortable running alone. The river trails is fairly flat other than going over bridges and a few small inclines. Reality check on the last half for sure b/c I’d stopped doing hills in my workouts. Not on the treadmills, not on routes, not even adding repeats at the very least. Lesson learned.

    • Well, I won’t complain if you take me to those trails when I visit you (NEXT MONTH, ahhh!), but we can also tackle some hills while I’m there too, for good measure…and to get you ready for your half and all 😉

  2. Totally true. There is no point to phoning in a workout. If you do it half-assed, you won’t get results. I need to remind myself of this on a daily basis.

    • Exactly – it can be an easy habit to fall into, but you’re right – sometimes a constant reminder is necessary to make sure you’re getting the MOST out of every sweatfest, otherwise, what’s the point?

  3. Glad I can actually inspire YOU with something for once running-wise…at least a little bit 😉 I think a few extra hills thrown in for good measure on the dreadmill is a great idea, and I love tackling every workout with the same vigor…makes a huge difference. Not just going through the motions!

  4. YAY for HILLS! Yeah, I know I know I’m crazy. Come to my neighborhood for an outdoor hill session, it’ll be fun I promise! 😉

    You have such a great attitude toward your workouts – and I totally agree!

  5. What an amazing attitude! I’m challenging myself to think this way about every workout from now on. I tend to zone out during my runs…not anymore…thanks for the reminder about how important it is to give 200% every workout.

    I love hills, mostly because I’ve never been fast (until now), so hills were always something I took pride in. And they are ALWAYS hard. Treadmill hills are the best because it feels like you are sprinting after they are finished 🙂

    • I think you (and Samantha) may be two of the only runners I know that openly say they LOVE hills! That is awesome! I don’t LOVE them but I don’t hate them either – so maybe by adding some hill work in, I may join the “I heart hills” camp with you ladies. We shall see 😉

  6. Here, here! You are taking all the right steps this year with your personal and professional life, amazing to watch you go so far. I admit I loathe hills, but nothing beats that feeling afterwards. It’s important to work towards things to make them easy. Remember when running a few miles seemed impossible. Dream big, I like your style.

  7. Such a great point! I have been thinking about this in terms of speed. I KNOW that I can be much faster if I put in the work. After marathon training (b/c I am doing for endurance, not speed for the marathon), I am going to make my main focus speed. I am determined to shave 13 minutes off of my half marathon pace.
    As far as hills, BRING THEM ON! I love them! Hills for breakfast! The Kalamazoo Marathon, which I am currently training for is known for being a very hilly course. I have been making sure that I incorporate lots of hill work so that come race day I will embrace those suckers!

    • Another one that loves hills – I love it! Crazy runner friends who dig hills, who knew?! 😉

      Love your plan for the Kalamazoo marathon and how you plan to work on your speed after that marathon is behind you. I have NO doubt you’ll shave those minutes off your half marathon time, NO doubts whatsoever!

    • I guess that’s one way to learn to love them – having NO CHOICE!! Haha. That’s sorta how I am too – not many routes are flat near me, at least not entirely, and I guess I feel lucky that that’s the case or else I know I’d struggle a ton more with hills than I do now.

      And, thank you – I love the new look too, so fresh and fun! 🙂

  8. I think my body starts to feel complacent when I’m not pushing myself. I really enjoyed doing triathlons last year and so, *giggling*, if I enjoyed it that much, I need to push myself further! Ha! Love it. Go girl!

    • That’s a really cool way of thinking about your body’s reaction if you don’t keep pushing it (in a healthy way, of course) – I love that concept of complacency, and avoiding it altogether if you can. Go, go, GO!!

  9. Pingback: Miles for miles sake | EatDrinkBreatheSweat

  10. Pingback: Love to run – winter and summer edition | EatDrinkBreatheSweat

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