Hill Challenge

First up on the challenge: find someone to take a picture of you, and maybe even you and your dog while you’re doing your hill sprints…

This is how my workout came about. There are very few hot, hot days in my home town of Calgary, Alberta, so when the weather is nice, I try to take advantage. I’m also not terrifically excited about training in the heat and neither is my dog:








Since Desi is a boxer with more energy than brains, I like to bike with him running along side me. Yes, I know it’s a potential death trap, but so far I’ve survived the odd lunge at a rabbit or two. In any case, my goal was to get Desi’s twice daily run in early so that the heat didn’t get to him and then I’d come home and train.

But, we rode by an amazing hill with shade at the bottom that I thought I couldn’t pass up. Desi could rest at the bottom in the shade and I could get some hill sprints in while he waited. He’s the most patient training partner ever and if he wasn’t such a goofy dog, I would have let up run the hills with me too. I’m sure that would have resulted in him knocking me over and licking my face and that sort of puts a damper on the workout.

Can you see Desi at the bottom waiting for me?


So, based on my morning workout, here’s a great workout plan for you:

25 (or as many as you can stand) hill sprints as such:

-first set of 5 hill sprints- ‘rest’ at the bottom with up to 20 push ups ‘active rest’

-second set of 5 hill sprints – ‘rest’ at the bottom with up to 20 body weight squats ‘active rest’

-third set of 5 hill sprints – ‘rest’ at the bottom with up to 20 cross body spider crawls ‘active rest’

-fourth set of 10 timed hill sprints – I timed myself for the 16th hill sprint (sprint up, jog down) and it took me 35 seconds. I decided that a 10 second rest was reasonable for the remaining 10 hill sprints. So based on a 35 sec sprint and 10 second rest, I set my interval at 45 second repeats. This meant that if I got to the bottom of the hill with more time than 10 seconds to rest I got more rest. More likely, as my energy was zapped, I didn’t get as much rest if I started to lag on the sprint so I really pushed to get the measly 10 second rest.

As you can see, if  I decided to do 25 hill sprints, I may have been overwhelmed with the prospect. Since I divided it up into smaller manageable sets (with no rest between those sets I might add), it just broke up the monotony of doing 25 reps of the same thing. In addition, I got in some upper body and core work as my ‘active rest’.

I wanted to share this workout as a template for you to use directly, or for you to change as you like. It’s always easier to start with an idea.

I use this sort of training to shake up my workouts. Staying lean is important for the many other challenge workouts I’m doing and this is one of those workouts that fits the bill for fat burning.

Check out all the ways I stay lean here.

And trust me, it was down right exhausting for Desi to watch me do those 25 hill sprints: