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High Five Events’ staff dish out their favorite Austin hill workout locations

Hill repeats – the workout runners love to hate. Every training plan should have at least one hill workout per week. Runners reap many benefits from increased lower body strength to expanded lung capacity. If you’re new to Austin or in town for visiting, make sure you put one of these Austin hill workout locations on your list. Some of the staff at High Five Events give the lowdown on their favorite Austin hill workout locations. Need some motivation to get you going? These six tips will help!

Runner ascends Hill of Life, one of the High Five Events' staff's favorite Austin hill workout locations.

Runners completing repeats on the Hill of Life.

Meg

Hill of Life repeats on the Greenbelt. These help me get ready for technical trail runs. If I’m in the early stages of prepping for a road race they give me great lower body workout whether I am running or hiking up the hill. What’s better than a stair stepper or box step-ups?! Nature’s stairs and box steps! Plus, it makes you appreciate the smoothness of the road. 

Laura

Wilke Drive repeats. It is not fun. It is HARD, but you’ll get a great workout out of it.

Emily

Hill sprints west on North Hills Drive in front of Murchison Middle School off of Far West Boulevard. I live near there so I get a few warm-up miles before the pain game begins. 

Stacy (two locations!)

Grove Drive out of Roy Guerrero Park is a closed road/bike path with a 450m hill. It ends at the end of Montopolis Drive near Ed Bluestein. Park and warm up at Guerrero, then do repeats. If you like to suffer with no one around to see, this is a good place to run. Plus it’s shaded the whole way!

Loop in East Riverside neighborhood – Begin at Old East Riverside Drive and Summit Street, run to Sunnyvale Street and take a left, loop around Lupine Lane, right on Upland Drive, left on Old East Riverside Drive, and back to Summit Street. You get three good hills in just under one mile (.9). It’s in my neighborhood so it’s close, mostly shaded, and safer because of low traffic. And I can run it at night if I need to!

Wilke Drive is one of the High Five Events' staff's favorite Austin hill workout locations.

Laura and Jack both approve of Wilke repeats.

Jack

Wilkie Drive repeats. As many as you can handle while still giving a decent effort. Run hard up Wilke, then come down easy and in control. Do this regularly and watch the repetitions you can complete increase over time!

Joey

My favorite hill workout is a brick that I can do from my house. Starting at the bottom of Coronado Hills I ride a 1.3-mile loop 5x and then run to the top at Berkman Drive and back once. That’s just under a mile. I’ll repeat that circuit five or six times when I’m training for a sprint or Olympic distance race. Aside from being close to home, there isn’t much traffic which is a serious bonus. 

RAW Running poses after completing Stratford Drive hill repeats, one of the High Five Events' staff's favorite Austin hill workout locations.

RAW Running poses after completing Stratford Drive hill repeats.

William

Stratford Drive repeats with RAW Running. This workout is shorter (~400m), but the climb will is why you run this. Start outside the Rowing Dock. It begins relatively flat, then sharply increases, featuring a couple of climbs. There are a couple of turns and a flat part before the second climb. Really focus on grinding up the hill, shorten your stride, slightly lean forward, and pump those arms!

You know the benefits of hill workouts and that you should add them to your training plan. You’ll see the benefits with just one hill workout a week! Do you have a favorite Austin hill workout location that we didn’t mention? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Prepare for a half marathon with these 7 types of runs

Whether this is your first half marathon or your 10th, make sure these 7 types of runs are a part of your training. This breakdown can explain to beginners what their workout might specifically call for. These descriptions are helpful for veterans because it reminds them of what they need to focus on during their next run. Whatever your next type of run is, make sure you foam roll afterward to speed up your recovery. 

Long

This is a run that is longer than any of the other types of runs. Long runs have many benefits: builds muscle/heart strength, improves endurance, and teaches the body to burn fat rather than glycogen as a fuel source. They differ based on your current fitness level and the overall distance that you’re trying to achieve (like 5K or a marathon). Most training plans call for no more than one long run per week. Follow this long run recovery timeline to feel better faster.

Wilke Rd. provides a great hill workout, one of 7 types of runs runners should use during their 3M Half Marathon training.

The Wilke Rd. hill workout will make you a stronger runner!

Hill repeats

Running hill repeats increases leg strength, improves fitness, and uses the muscles of the legs, arms, and core in ways that are different than running on flat surfaces. Hill repeats help improve running economy, which translates into less energy expended over the course of a long-distance race. Start from the bottom of the hill, choose a destination point at the top of the hill and sprint up the hill to get there as fast as you can. Jog back to your starting point and repeat. The distance will be much shorter than your usual run, but the high-intensity sprint, as well as the incline, will make this challenging. Check out these Austin locations and try the recommended workouts!

Progression

Progression run is a run with a structured pace that increases from beginning to end. The distance and pace will vary based on your specific training goals. This type of run is good for improving your running stamina, mental strength, and teaching the body to run increasingly faster at the end of a race. It’s also a way to get a run in that is more difficult than the base run but not as intense as other different types of running.

Tempo

Tempo run refers to a “comfortably hard” pace that you can maintain for a longer period of time. It is different than race pace, however. A tempo run (also known as an anaerobic threshold or lactate-threshold run) is a pace about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than your current 5K race pace.  Basically, when you run, your muscles build up lactic acid, a metabolic byproduct that causes them to fatigue. The intention of a tempo run is to increase your threshold so that your muscles don’t fatigue as fast. This allows you to keep running longer.

Recovery

A relatively short, easy-paced, run performed within 24 hours after a hard session; usually an interval workout or a long run. Easiest training day of the week after rest days. A recovery run is done at an easy pace, “easy” being relative to your fitness level.

Recovery run - relatively short, easy-paced, run performed within 24 hours after a hard session; usually an interval workout or a long run. Easiest training day of the week after rest days. Click To Tweet

Sprints

Sprint workouts mean to run shorter distances at a faster than normal pace with multiple repeats during the workout. Sprint training is essential if you want to increase your speed. It builds strength and power so that you can run faster. Even if you’re a long-distance runner, sprinting is beneficial. Sprints actually help you run longer. They condition your body to be able to handle the distance without fatiguing as quickly.

Interval

Interval training runs are a mixture of low-moderate and high-intensity runs. It incorporates shorter periods of fast, hard runs where you put in more effort, followed by longer periods of jogging or walking. Interval training means that you will alternate between the two. For instance, you’ll run high intensity for one minute, followed by jogging for two minutes, one minute hard, two minutes easy (for a specified amount of time). Pro tip: the intense interval is key and you really need to push yourself to deliver the benefits, which include improving your running efficiency and your ability to maintain higher speeds for longer. It also burns a lot of calories very quickly.

Knowing about these 7 types of runs and their differences is great. But don’t forget you have to add them to your training and complete them too! When you begin training for the 3M Half Marathon, include these 9 tips runners use to see improvements. Reach out on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your favorite run.