Saucony RBR Summer Mileage Program, Week Six, Day Four, the hills, from

Before the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Lasse Viren, who had won the 1972 Olympic 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, was having some difficulty with his achilles. His coach, Rolf Haakola, kept Viren off the track until three weeks before the Montreal Olympics. His regimen was 800 meter hill repeats, which allowed Viren to develop his speed, without putting him on the track. Three weeks out from the Olympics, Viren ran a 5,000 meter time trial, changing speeds every 100 meters, and broke 14 minutes. Three weeks later, Viren did the same workout, and ran the same workout twenty-five seconds faster! His recover, determined by checking his pulse at end of workout and ten minutes later, had improved as well! Viren did double in Montreal, defending both titles and his hill workouts, devised by his creative coach, were a key part of the build up to his success. 

While hill workouts may not provide you a gold medal or two, they are a great way to get into shape. As a junior college coach, my wise head coach, Joe Mangan, would put our team through four weeks of hill running, which got the team in shape and ready for the tough four mile courses we had for JC races. 

Saucony Carrera XC, 
photo by Saucony Running
Saucony RBR Summer Mileage Program, week six, day four: the hills....

Thursday: 1-mile warm up, 7 hill repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start. Repeat six more times, no rests); 1-mile easy cool down.


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