All workouts should be performed after an easy 15 to 20-minute aerobic warm-up run and light, active stretching.
This is the simple approach to improving your hill running strength. Start with 12 x 1-minute interval up at moderately hard pace, followed by an equal (or greater) recovery jog down. Add time to the intervals systematically. For example, the next week do 10 x 2 minutes, then 8 x 3 minutes, etc. Focus on form: Chest over your knees, knees over your toes, tight compact arm swing, and quick cadence. When performing quality intervals, your first interval should be conservative and preferably your slowest. The last one should be your strongest.
This is a good introduction workout. Treat it more like a fartlek workout (Swedish for “Speedplay”). Do 30, 60, and 90-second surges in pace on hilly or rolling terrain.
Tips and variations: If you don’t want to be gawking at your watch constantly, just countexhales for seconds: 30 exhales, 60 exhales, etc. You can also use obstacles in your line of sight as spots to run to when you pick up the pace and surge.
This is one of my favorites. Find a relatively long climb and run 2 minutes up at a moderately hard pace, followed by a 1-minute recovery jog down. Slowly yo-yo up the climb. Start by performing six and work up to 12 yo-yos.
This lower-intensity workout improves your transitions on long climbs and saves your legs during mountain adventures/races. The 7/11 transition improves the efficiency of the transition from running to power hiking, and from power hiking back to running. Count your exhales and power hike for seven exhales, then run for 11 exhales.
Tips and variations: Read the terrain. If the trail immediately in front of you kicks up higher than your head, power hike. If it’s lower than your head, run. Correlate the power hiking vs. running by reading the terrain directly in front of you.