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The 8 Stages Of Hill Repeats

One runner sums up how we all feel during hill work.

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Hill repeats…you either learn to love them or you hate them. If you’re new to the running world, I know what you’re thinking, “Hill repeats? I go out of my way to avoid hills! What do you mean I’m supposed to be running up and down hills?!?” Well, I have some good news and I have some bad news. Torturing yourself by learning to love hill training, though soul crushing at first, increases your strength, speed, stamina and endurance which means it makes running easier in the long run! But what can you expect? Here are the 8 stages of hill repeats.

Hill Repeat #1: Determination

“I got this!” You think to yourself as you bound up your first hill repeat. You reach the top and can’t help but admit, ‘That wasn’t that bad! What’s the big deal?”

Hill Repeat #2: Impressive

“I am a champion!” You scream as you reach the top of your second hill repeat. “This is going to be the easiest workout of my life! Go me!” You think to yourself as you jog back down the hill.

Hill Repeat #3: Ambitious

“I am in much better shape than I thought!” You scream as you start to break a sweat on your third hill repeat.

Hill Repeat #4: Pain

“WHAT IS THIS? MOUNT EVEREST!” You mumble, out of breath, remembering why you hate hill repeats.

Hill Repeat #5: Regret

“I don’t think I can do all 8…” You huff and puff after at the top of your fifth hill repeat. “Why do I do this to myself” You scream as you shake your fist at the universe.

Hill Repeat #6: Distress

“Why does this hurt so much? I should be in much better shape than this!” You think as an elderly woman blows past you effortlessly.

Hill Repeat #7: Defeat

“Everything hurts and I’m dying!” You whimper as you crawl into the fetal position. “NO MORE! NO MORE!” You plead, unsure if you can even get back up. But somehow, you muster the strength to hobble back down the hill for your final repeat. You take an extra minute (or 5…or 10) to catch your breath so you can give your final repeat everything you have!

Hill Repeat #8: Gratitude


“I did it! I didn’t give up!” You scream victorious. “That was the worst thing I’ve ever done! Never again!” That is, until next week. “Maybe I’ll even go for 9…”

If you feel like you’re going to die running up one single hill today, give it a few weeks and you’ll be eating hills for breakfast! The trick is to take your time and not give up! Just like everything else in running, developing strength takes patience, hard work and a willingness to succeed. It’s just like the old saying goes, keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Think of a hill like your frenemy… Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Read More About Mastering Hills:
4 Simple Tricks To Becoming A Great Hill Runner
Hill Running Form For Runners