Hill Repeats

Two of my children are competitive runners. They typically run in rela- tively flat environments, and even when running cross-country races, the courses are typically relatively nontreacherous. Regardless, their coach requires them to do what are called “hill repeats” during training. Hill repeats are exactly how they sound—running up and down a hill over and over until you’re exhausted.

So why would you do that to yourself—especially when you aren’t running on many hills in your races?

Well, hill repeats make normal running feel easy by comparison. When you’re used to running straight up an incline and you get to run on flat ground, it suddenly feels like a much more manageable task. It’s similar to why baseball players put “doughnuts” around their bats when warming up—once they’re removed, the bat feels so much lighter.

Working against an impediment forges strength and resilience. This is why interval training is so effective—you have periods of alternating stress and rest. As you consider your work, how can you structure some interval training into your workload? How can you challenge yourself in manageable, controllable ways today to build capacity for tomorrow?

Mind your intervals, and build capacity for the moments that matter.


What practices can you engage in today to prepare you for the challenges you’ll face tomorrow?

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