The Hills Are Alive

    

It’s always interesting taking your running shoes out of town and making your way about on foot. The best part? The different terrain. Running about within Metro Manila, the routes start getting familiar and unexciting, and you start looking for a way to challenge yourself.

I was in Baguio last month on a family trip. We had just enough time on our second day there for a morning run at Camp John Hay. I ran with my brother-in-law Michael of The Red Runners and my mom. It was cold (summer hadn’t fully kicked in yet) and the air was thin, so we found ourselves struggling on the rolling terrain. Still, hill running is great for improving speed, and in the end I found myself enjoying the additional challenge.

Here are the benefits of hill running (from brianmac.co.uk):

  • helps develop power and muscle elasticity
  • improves stride frequency and length
  • develops co-ordination, encouraging the proper use of arm action during the driving phase and feet in the support phase
  • develops control and stabilisation as well as improved speed (downhill running)
  • promotes strength endurance
  • develops maximum speed and strength (short hills)
  • improves lactate tolerance (mixed hills)

The Kenyans and Ethiopians who race locally live in Rizal, where there are plenty of hills to run. I’ve been there with them once and they don’t flinch at all when faced with hills to climb. No wonder they’re such strong runners.

Baguio Hill Training

During my training at Pico de Loro for the Next Step Tri camps, I also found myself attempting to conquer steep hills one after another, some at a 14% gradient. There’s something about facing such intimidating terrain that makes past challenges seem trivial. I used to fear McKinley Hill and the flyovers along Roxas Boulevard. Now, I attack them with glee.

Hill running makes you a stronger, better runner. What hills have you run lately?

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12 comments on “The Hills Are Alive

  1. I tried doing running in Baguio last Feb at 4am but I wasn’t able to make the most out of it, because I didn’t bring my running shoes along. Promised myself to run in Baguio the next time I go there :)

  2. yes did some hill runs at mt tuko mapita aguilar 1.3 k uphill and was so steep. nice for trail running will b back nex wk for 4thRUNN tym kip on runningggg.RUNNING BEE

  3. Hi guys! Do you have any suggestions where I could run uphills near Quezon City? Can’t have it as a regular part of my training since there are no uphills in my area. That’s why my races were affected when there are FLYOVERS on the route.

  4. Yes, I ran Baguio 21k – Just run the hills last Easter Sunday (April 8). It was a one-of-a-kind experience. It was fun to conquer the uphills but there were parts were I had to walk. Aside from the punishing uphills, some downhills were also challenging as I had to manage not to slip all the way down. :)

  5. Van,
    When I was with the UP Track Team (1980-1985) my secret training ground was Capitol Hills golf course and there was/is a 47 degree hill’s, 350 meters long in the interior of that area we call “suka hill” by UP Balara. I did 10 reps speed workout on that hill’s once a week. That training helped me ran a fast 10,000 meter race of 31:54. Check my FB named Armand. Train Hard, Win Easy.

  6. Hi Noelle & Armand!

    Thank you for your suggestions. I’ll do my best to include it in my running schedule. Need those suggestions a lot. If you also have other suggestions let me know.

    More power to you KIKAYRUNNER!

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