3 Hill Workouts for a Faster 5K

Flynn says he introduces hill training to his runners by having them start with a hill workout every 14 days. He starts with short hills and then works up to longer hills as they gain strength. "Short hill sprints are good for people who are weak in that area because that's better than running up a long hill as your form deteriorates," he explains. "The runner should always pay attention to form so each step is quality."

Try working in one of the following hill workouts once every fortnight. As you progress in your training plan, you can add in hills more often, but be sure not to overdo this type of training. As Flynn notes, you're doing more harm than good if you run hills tired and with bad form. To get the most out of these workouts, be sure to warm up beforehand and consider carrying water or a sports drink for quick sips between repeats.

More: How to Fuel and Hydrate for a 5K

Hill Workout 1: Short Hill Sprints

  • Warm up 15 minutes.
  • 8x20 second sprints up a 5- to 8-percent graded hill.
  • Jog down between each and rest for 1 minute.
  • Cool down 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Make it harder: Increase each hill sprint to 40 seconds and do as many as 12 repeats.

More: 3 Ways Speed Workouts Can Boost Your 5K Training

Hill Workout 2: Long Hill Repeats

  • Warm up 15 minutes.
  • On a hilly half-mile section of road, perform 3 to 5 repeats at a hard pace, maintaining good form on both the uphills and the downhills.
  • Take 1 to 2 minutes rest in between each.
  • Cool down 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Make it harder: Increase the number of repeats to 6 to 8.

More: How Do I Run a Faster 5K?

Hill Workout 3: Rolling Hill Run

  • Warm up 10 minutes.
  • Map out a 3 to 5 mile route on rolling terrain, and run at a moderate pace to hard pace.
  • Cool down 10 minutes.
  • Make it harder: Increase the route to 6 to 7 miles.

More: 7 Hill Running Workouts That Increase Power

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