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.


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. 


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


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.


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!


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.


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!

Build strength and stamina at these four hill workout locations

“Hills are speedwork in disguise.” – Frank Shorter (gold medalist in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics, silver medalist in the marathon at the 1976 Summer Olympics)

It’s no secret, Austin is located in the Texas Hill Country. The 3M Half Marathon course might have a -300 ft. drop in elevation from start to finish, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore hill workouts! Incorporating a weekly hill workout into any training plan will build stamina, strengthen your lower body, and increase your lung capacity. There are many Austin options for a great hill workout, but the four locations below are our favorite. If your favorite didn’t make our list, let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

  1. Wilke – Let’s kick this off with a well-known Austin classic in the Barton Hills neighborhood, Wilke. The entire road itself is about .3 miles, but you can push that to nearly half a mile (and >100 ft. elevation change) with this workout: begin at Barton Parkway and Wilke Dr. and run to the top of the Wilke, you’ll end at Rabb Road; turn around and head back down Wilke (make sure to control yourself!); take a left on Barton Parkway; make a U-turn at the footbridge and return to your starting point. Rest for 60 seconds, repeat as desired.
  2. Ladera Norte – To visit Ladera Norte head to northwest Austin, past Far West Blvd. Many different routes can be created from this hill, but this workout is a ~1.3-mile lollipop route that has >330 ft. elevation change. Park at Ladera Norte and Valburn Dr. Head south on Ladera Norte and control your stride. Take a right on Backtrail Dr., it’ll end at Ladera Norte. Take a left on Ladera Norte and begin your ascent. Tip: keep your head low, lean forward, and keep your feet moving. Rest for 2:30 minutes, repeat as desired.

    The Hill of Life ascent.

  3. Hill of Life – Get off the roads and conquer the Hill of Life on the Greenbelt! Pay attention on this route, especially as you descend the Hill of Life. What starts at the top with great views ends nearly half a mile downhill, with nearly 300 ft. of elevation change. There are no turns to know, unless you want to run on the trail for a 5-minute recovery. Repeat as desired. Get to the Hill of Life on foot (several Greenbelt access points) or by car (take Scottish Woods Trial off 360).
  4. Pease Park – This double-roller near Shoal Creek doesn’t have the elevation gain of the other three on this list, but it’s a great workout nonetheless. Start near the picnic tables at Pease Park and run west on Kingsbury St. The climbs aren’t gnarly, but there is a flat part before the second hill. Use this section to briefly recover before attacking the second hill. It’s slightly more than a quarter mile before you turn around, use the downhill to recover. Recover at Pease Park for 60 seconds, repeat as desired.

When you visit these hill workout locations it’s important to bring fluids with you, especially during the Texas summers. Pease Park has water fountains, but if you prefer your own hydration plan accordingly. As for all workouts on the road, be visible/reflective, run against traffic, be predictable and keep an eye out for cars. If you’re running as a group, don’t hog the road and run no more than side-by-side.