33 In Daily Run

Is Running Hills Good For You?

Happy Hump Day!!

Yesterday was Day 10 in my 48 Days To The Work You Love journey! It might seem like the days are off, but there isn’t a chapter for every day. Some days you work on questions and other things instead of actually reading the book. Just as a quick recap, I wanted to share a few highlights, then we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled program.

-“Identifying our inner gifts and talents and using them effectively in our work are critical components of our spiritual well-being.”

-“It is often in the midst of change and challenges that we find our true direction.”

-Having the ability to do a certain job doesn’t necessarily make it the best job for YOU.

-At some point, you need to figure out if you’re a Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever, or Beaver. If you’re curious what these mean, you can find them on page 77 if you have the book 🙂

-“If you can’t dream it, it won’t happen. Success doesn’t sneak up on us. It starts as a dream that we combine with a clear plan of action.”

-“I believe we need to carefully identify the special gifts God has given each of us and then be excellent in the use of those gifts.”

-“Employers don’t want generalists; they want people who know what their uniqueness is and are looking for opportunities that will alow them to use that uniqueness.”

Did any of these points strike a chord with you?

Last night I knew I needed to knock out a 4 mile run to keep up with the start of my training. I chose a route that I knew would be tough, especially having taken nearly 3-4 weeks off from serious running. The route starts out flat, then slightly uphill, then downhill, then mile 3 is almost ALL uphill, and mile 4 ‘bleh’ as well. I figured even if I didn’t stick to the pace I wanted, at least I was getting in my miles and actively working on getting my behind back in the shape it was in! Here are my times…you can guess where the uphill battle began.

HA. Mile 1 and 2 were GREAT. I was on track for the pace I had hoped for. And then…I hit the uphill, and I ran out of gas. Literally. There was nothing left in me. The blazing sun came out and my mind shut down. I had a hitch in my giddy-up. My go became a no-go. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Sometimes it just happens. I tried, and just kept going. Miles 3 and 4 became a run/walk effort, but it will only be easier next time. I blame my lack of running the past few weeks, an exhausted and stressed mind, a tired body from a poor night’s sleep, dehydration, and the heat. But really, I blame myself. It was a cruddy run, but I came back looking sweattastic and feeling like I had conquered the world, and that’s all that matters! It’s still pretty early on in my training so I’m not too worried about it. I can’t remember the last time I saw anything slower than a 9:30 on my garmin, but I’m not going to let it get to me!

Ever have a run like that?

When I got back, I took the Monster Truck for a ~mile walk to cool down. A dog’s life is so simple. Sleep, eat, play, repeat. And do all of the above while overly joyful.

I figure that by running hills, I’m only speeding up the process. Hills are great for improving cardio, right?? I did some brief research on the matter to find out the benefits of running hills. Here’s what I found:

-You can burn some serious extra calories!

-You build up your endurance and stamina. Think about it, you’re pushing your body to do something much harder than running on a flat surface, all while trying to maintain a similar pace. Then, when you’re back on a flat route, it will feel much easier, and your lungs won’t have to work as hard.

-Your overall speed will eventually increase because when you run hills you are forcing different muscles in your legs to work hard to fight the effects of gravity. This creates more power in your legs, which translates into being faster in general. Also, the muscles you use when running uphill are almost the same ones you use when you sprint.

-Your risk of injuries goes down.

-You boost your confidence. Running is a mind game, and when you can conquer hills successfully and feel good about yourself, your running will naturally improve!

So, is running hills good for you? Yes. Very much so!

(via here, here, here, and here.)

Do you like running hills?

Before I sign off, Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers inspired me today to share some blog love! Below are a few blogs I’ve recently been loving, and think that you will love as well. Be sure to check them out! All of these girls are fantastic, and I love catching up on what they have to say!

Health Nut Julie

Happy Wife Healthy Life

Making Thyme For Health

Making Mine

Do you have a blog recommendation? If I should be following YOUR blog, leave me your bloglovin’ link!

Follow on Bloglovin

33 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama
    August 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I’m a firm believer that running hills makes you a better runner! Plus, they are pretty much unavoidable where I live. If I want a hill workout, I simply open my door, turn any direction, and BAM, there’s a giant hill. But as tough as the uphills are, there is nothing better than flying on the descents, especially on the trails!!

    P.S. I promise I’m going to finish my Liebester soon. Monday!!

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Nicole- Haha yea, east TN you have no choice but to run hills!!! Or mountains rather 😉 I agree…flying down the other side is so nice!! And no worries, oh my goodness!

  • Reply
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles
    August 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Hill repeats are FANTASTIC workouts, and they most definitely help you with your everyday running. It’s really interesting that you say that running uphill uses similar muscles to sprinting–I did a few strides yesterday and I definitely felt them in my quads when I got up this morning. I’m in the same boat as Nicole where I live in a very hilly area–it’s very hard to plan a route that doesn’t have rolling hills the entire way. Sometimes it sucks majorly, but I always tell myself that it’s better for my racing. 😉
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles recently posted…WIAW: anyone want to help me get rid of my buckwheat?My Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Beth- Agreed! Even though I’m miserable while I’m on the hills, I know in the end it’s going to pay off tredemously! 🙂

  • Reply
    Natalie@fit.fun.femme.
    August 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    You should definitely follow our blog, but I can’t figure out how to send you a bloglovin link! I hate hills…totally, completely, with a passion HATE hills. I do know that they are beneficial though, so I try to get a lot of strength training and speed work in to compensate for my hatred. Maybe someday I will get over this, but as a Florida girl who likes the flat – I may never!

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Natalie- Already do! And love it! 🙂 Hahaha yea as a Florida girl, I’d say hills aren’t exactly your cup of tea 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Nice Lil Saturday
    August 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    OMG, I don’t even know how you kept up the pace you did while running those hills! I’m so awful at running hills and I’m pretty sure that I look like a loser when I’m doing it. I remember when I ran the Seattle Marathon, there was a HUGE chunk of the race that was uphill and I decided that to conserve my energy I would just walk…and walk I did, right past all the people that were “running” next to me. Hahaha; clearly they were a lot more passionate about running hills than I was!

    Here is my link for Bloglovin’: http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3774397/nice-lil-saturday

    I love getting new readers so I hope you will check it out!
    Michelle @ Nice Lil Saturday recently posted…2 Years Ago TodayMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Michelle- I love your blog! It’s on my reader! 🙂 Bahaha hey no shame in walking those hills during a MARATHON!! Girl, still awesome!!

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    August 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Yay for hill running! I live on top of a mountain, so if I start from home, the only place way I can really run is done…then back up haha. You can always tell when I hit the mountain in my Garmin mileage too haha….usual pace is somewhere between 8-9 minutes and then suddenly I’m in the 9:30-11:30 (depending on the day 😛 ). I actually really enjoy running up. It makes me feel incredibly powerful and appreciative of my body when I get to the top 🙂 Running down, however, does make me nervous about the wear and tear on my knees, so I usually try to take those slower than my flat running pace. I think it’s helped!
    Caitlin recently posted…Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed PeppersMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Caitlin- Haha that’s like where I grew up! It’s great when I leave the house..but coming back is another story! I could see that, I think it definitly makes you appreciate of what you can conquer 🙂

  • Reply
    jenn @ runnderlust
    August 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    great job for even finishing the run, though! i am a firm believer in listening to my body and if mentally or physically am bonking, i just shut it down and walk home. i know that sounds bad but i would rather come back and have a good day the next day then completely depleting my body. there’s a difference between stopping because i am tired or don’t feel like running and knowing when i really should stop though!!

    also, great quote: ”If you can’t dream it, it won’t happen. Success doesn’t sneak up on us. It starts as a dream that we combine with a clear plan of action.”.
    jenn @ runnderlust recently posted…Race Recap: Moonlight 4 MilerMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      Jenn- So true!! Yes..it’s definitly better to play it safe and not destroy yourself!!

  • Reply
    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness
    August 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    i actually love the challenge of hills. it might have something to do with the fact i love running downhill, so thats good motivation in itself to first run up the hill 🙂 and another great day of 48 Days! this one really struck a chord: ”If you can’t dream it, it won’t happen. Success doesn’t sneak up on us. It starts as a dream that we combine with a clear plan of action.” sooo true.
    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness recently posted…Usain-Lightening-BoltMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      Charlotte- Hahah there’s always a positive I guess 🙂 I’m glad you’re loving it..you should read it for yourself, I think you’d really enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Kim
    August 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I like hills (not always at the time but…) – good thing because there are quite a few really good size hills around here.
    Kim recently posted…When you Make a Mistake, Make a Good One!!My Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Kim- They really are a great workout! It’s a good thing you enjoy them!

  • Reply
    Anna @AnnaTheApple
    August 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Hill running is great for increasing your speed! It’s like doing intervals. Basically anything that makes normally running hard is good because when you get back to normal running it feels easier! But yeah hills suck. They take a lot of physical and mental perseverance.
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Enjoying my foodMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Anna- So true!! Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

  • Reply
    Tara@PNWRunner
    August 14, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I also believe that running hills is essential for training. It is up there with tabata style workouts. It helps get your legs used to something else other than just a flat surface. Plus, they won’t be as shocked when that giant hill approaches!

    I also saw Julie’s post about highlighting fellow bloggers. What a great idea. I am doing the same tomorrow. I just found your blog yesterday and so far I enjoy what I am reading. I’d love for you to check out my blog. I am relatively new, so any comments would be appreciated!

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Tara- So glad you stopped by!! Yay for new readers 🙂 And very good point- that way during a race if you come upon a hill it’s not such a huge shock to your body!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food
    August 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I love the idea of hills. It’s when I actually get to the beginning of one that I start to get all whiny in my head. I agree that they totally make you a better runner, though!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food recently posted…Fabulous Pinterest FindsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate
    August 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I have had several runs like that! I feel awesome the first half and then all of a sudden its like my battery drained. But, you have to have tough runs to make you stronger I think!
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate recently posted…Move In DayMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Katie- Agreed!!

  • Reply
    Kristen @ Medium Roast
    August 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I’ve had many similar experiences with hills! They always seem to kick my butt. But I’m a glutton for punishment, I guess, because I keep chasing them down! Don’t worry about the times or pace when you’re doing hills, they are a great workout even if you have to run a little slower. I find that they are great for practicing recovery. Instead of taking a break at the top of the hill, I try to keep going and recover while running.
    Kristen @ Medium Roast recently posted…Feeling Overwhelmed? Time for a Run.My Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Kristen- Good advice 🙂 That’s so hard for me sometimes..to just power through..definitly takes a strong mind! Way to go girl!

  • Reply
    Abby @ Change of Pace
    August 14, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Way to go on the run- that isn’t easy after taking a small break. A dog’s life is pretty simple and fun, barring they have good parents:)
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted…Second camping trip of the seasonMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Abby- HA very good point 😉

  • Reply
    Ashley
    August 14, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Oh man my hill splits are always all over the place. The more I practice, the better it’s getting, but it’s still pretty lopsided.

    And the point: Just because you are good at doing a certain job doesn’t mean it is the right job for YOU really stuck a chord with me. I’m struggling with work right now, I studied a long time, and have looked hard for jobs, but I know in my heart it isn’t what I’m supposed to do. Tough to accept…

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Ashley- Glad I’m not the only one! It sounds like we’re both in a similar boat..it’s a tough one to deal with! Best of luck! Shoot me an email if you need someone to talk it out with 🙂

  • Reply
    Matilda
    August 15, 2013 at 2:34 am

    This quote “If you can’t dream it, it won’t happen. Success doesn’t sneak up on us. It starts as a dream that we combine with a clear plan of action.”, reminded me of a video I saw the other day with Ashton Kutcher. It was short and sweet (teen choice awards I believe). Basically he said that success is just hard work. And it’s true. If we want to be successful then we need to put in the hard yards.
    Now take your run for example, yeah mile 3/4 don’t look the best, but if you take into consideration it’s uphill and the look at your average mile, it’s not that bad. Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture.
    I actually love hill training, providing it’s trail hill training. Next week I will be able to get back to my fav trail ‘hill’ training run. This week I did another speedwork session on the track, with the burpee’s. The track is now closing down, so they can resurface it (seriously it’s really crappy), they were literally fencing it off as I was running. So I guess you could say I was the last person to use it 🙂 .

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Matilda- Thanks for the reminder to look at the bigger picture, you’re the best 🙂

  • Reply
    Julie
    August 18, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Again, thank you so much for this! I’m so behind from traveling but I’m catching up on your blog now. It’s one of my favorites so this is really an honor 🙂 I’m about to go drool over your graham cracker toffee bars now!

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 20, 2013 at 11:28 am

      Julie- Loving your comments, let’s be real life friends, k? K! HA. The toffee bars are SO EASYYYY, do it now!!

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