Running them hills.

July 25, 2013

First real live outdoor hill workout accomplished.  (PS I do have a killer hill workout here for the treadmill if you want to check it out).

You would think that I would have remembered to charge my garmin after it died during yesterday’s run but once again, I did not.  

Luckily I had my phone with me and used Strava to record my run but I am never sure how accurate it is.

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Isn’t it annoying when you drive up the hill that you ran and wonder why you thought it was so hard?  I promise it doesn’t look steep but coming from my sea level lungs and flat running surface only running legs, running this hill was hard.

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The workout was:

20 minute warm-up (running at a 7:35ish pace)

Hill repeats:  8 times on a moderately sloped hill (6% grade) lasting 60 seconds with the jog back down the hill as recovery.  The effort for going up will be hard, but not all out.

20 minute cool-down (running at a 7:30ish pace) 

The biggest thing for me to successfully run up a hill fast(ish) is to pump my arms hard.  It is impossible (for me) to keep running slow if my arms are pumping hard.  Your legs will follow your arms, keep them moving.

Some more tips for running hills: Take shorter strides with a fast turnover, keep your head and eyes looking ahead (not down but not all the way up the hill), lean slightly forward!


My nieces watch Brooke’s baby monitor when she is napping and if she moves then they think she is awake and go on in and wake her up:)

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I didn’t even have to teach her how to use the camera for Brooke’s photoshoot.

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Lunch was a salad with rotisserie chicken (the best), frozen veggies (heated up) and sweet baby ray’s for dressing.  Triscuits are good but Triscuits with string cheese are really good.

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Name that movie:

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I am working on a “Run Happy” playlist!  I would love it if you would submit your ultimate “Run Happy” songs choices and create a Spotify playlist perfect for those long summer runs. Once I get them all in I will send Brooks some of them and they will create a master playlist that they will feature on the Brooks blog!!!


Kari @ Running Ricig July 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

Your nieces are so cute with Brooke!! I want a niece! Maybe I should tell my brother and his wife.

Pitch Perfect!


Laura @ Live, Run, Sparkle July 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

Pitch Perfect!! Haha best line!

I totally know what you mean about running hills that don’t seem steep in a car, I’m all too familiar with that. Good work on your run today! I ran 7km at 6 am and it was a tough one, my legs just didn’t want to wake up. It’s okay though bc its over and I’m feeling good and have had lots of energy. Morning runs are the best for that.

Your niece are cute that they wait for Brooke to wake up, adorable!


Katie July 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

Wow, you are so speedy!!!! Some day I hope to be as fast as you :) Also, did you just use bbq sauce as a dressing? I’ve never thought to do that, but I’m intrigued!!!



runinboise July 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

I did hills yesterday after not doing any since April! I think focusing on using glute power help propel me up the hills.


nerri @LaPetiteRunner July 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

Maroon 5 – Doin Dirt is my ultimate treadmill running song :) Otherwise lately I’m digging Krewella – Alive.

I love/hate hills – and I totally know what you mean about the hills seeming really flat in a car. Very deceiving!


Sarah @pickyrunner July 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm


Glad your first hill workout went well! They never look as steep as they are when you’re running up them.


Lauren July 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Wow that looks like the perfect lunch. Sweet Baby Ray’s is where it’s at!

You are the speediest runner! It’s my goal one day to be that fast but right now I’m not even close haha just gotta keep running!


Kari July 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm

For the songs my picks would be:

“happiness runs” by donovan. It’s a little slow, but for long runs it is perfect because it calms me down and doesn’t make me push the pace. It’s really relaxing.


“walking on a dream” by empire of the sun. Some of the lyrics are “we are always running for the thrill of it thrill of it, always pushing up the hill searching for the thrill of it.” Good for running up those hills…


Hayley in Training July 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I’ve never used Strava before, but I use Nike Plus – I’m also concerned with how accurate it is. I like GPS based apps rather than pace-based apps, so I at least know I can check the map and see around how far I ran.


Meaghan @ Tale of Two Teachers July 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I just switched from Nike+ to RunKeeper and I’ve been really happy with the switch! The stats seem a bit more accurate for me… Not sure though!!


Corrinne Wilson July 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Beyonce “Who Run the World” best running song ever, always kicks my butt back into gear when I hear it.


Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl July 25, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Thanks for the hill tips! When it comes to hills, I can use all the help I can get!


Kaitie July 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

It may be weird, but “Touch the Sky” from Brave has been my ultimate running song this summer.

Also I fully support horizontal running as a completely acceptable cross-training activity. Fat Amy knows what she’s talking about.


Lisa July 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I love that your nieces watch Brooke’s baby monitor while she’s sleeping. That’s absolutely adorable.
If you used the BBQ sauce as dressing, that would be the best idea ever.
Also you’re such a fast runner! So super speedy.


Shannon July 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Pitch Perfect! Awesome movie. :)

I know it’s all over the radio, but “Blurred Lines” and “Treasure” just make me smile. Brightens up any workout!


Michelle @ 3cheaprunners July 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I think I need to see that movie.

The girls with Brooke are just too cute


Kelly in Canada July 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm

I loved Pitch Perfect!!! I saw it with some running friends and we died laughing at that line!

My current top RunHappy song is Radioactive by Imagine Dragons!


Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy July 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Way to go on the hills! We have so many hills around the house, if I run outside it’s always a hill workout. Good job Speedy Mc Speedersons!


Jessica R @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad July 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Is your baby monitor the type with a camera? I thought that was the greatest invention ever when I first saw one. Sure, it’s not necessary but I still think its great.


The Hungry Runner Girl July 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Yes it is!!!! It is my favorite! So entertaining!


Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More July 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Hills are my friend. At least that’s what I tell myself when I am running them. ;-)


Katie July 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Haha – actually both the finale songs from Pitch Perfect are on my running playlist!

Blurred Lines is also currently heavy in the rotation.


Amy @ Long Drive Journey July 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Hills are so hard! There’s one hill that I usually run in every workout, and I usually find that unless I look up, I feel like the hill is about to fall on top of me. Yes that sounds weird, but it only makes running up the hill more daunting. I’ll have to try pumping my arms fast next time.


Allee @ Griselda Mood July 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I hate when you run a hill and nearly die and then drive over it and you’re like “why did I think this was so tough?” And pictures of hills I’ve noticed NEVER do their toughness any justice! At any rate, great job conquering a tough workout!


Kimberly @ Keeping up With Kimberly July 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Hills are so tough! Living in Pittsburgh “South Hills” makes every run seem like a hill workout and I call it a successful day if I find a flat course.

I’ve never tried bbq sauce as dressing, but I use salsa all of the time :)


Joy July 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm

That is a ROUGH looking hill!!! When we first moved to NC where we live now, I had been used to ONLY flat running and the hills KILLED ME at first! Walking ALL THE TIME! Now I can job them with moderate effort so I’m HAPPY!!! :)


Kay July 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Haha I love Pitch Perfect!


Beth @ Miles and Trials July 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I have never done a hill workout. I was supposed to this year while training for Boston, but then got a calf injury, so no hills happened! But it’s on my schedule tomorrow for the first time ever. Thanks for the tips, I’ll be thinking about them tomorrow!


Lindsey July 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm

“You Can’t Stop the Beat” from the Hairspray movie soundtrack. The most recent movie with John Travolta. That sound always makes me smile and makes me want to start dance-running…


Beth @ Running with the Sunrise July 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

That hill looks pretty hardcore to me! You definitely had a solid workout. Now you’ll just have to run a hilly race. ;) Looks like Brooke is having a fabulous time with her cousins! It must be nice to have the all together again.


Leigha July 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

That movie will never get old. hills- death while running them but you get the best feeling after!


Amanda July 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I love Pitch Perfect and especially that line…so freaking funny


Jenn July 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm

It also helps to “bound” up hills too after your workout just to help your running form/plyometrics! I give you credit for doing hills-I avoid them at ALL costs.


Ashlee@HisnHers July 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

I love bbq sauce as dressing! Yum! Weberbbq sauce is my new fav. (Bone Suckin is really my fav but it’s hard to find!


Elizabeth @ my neon running shoes July 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Those tips sound familiar ;-) awesome workout my friend!!


Natalie @ Twenty-Something Talk July 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

My favorite “run happy” song lately is Love on Top by Beyonce. It is AWESOME.

I am a huge hill wuss! I didn’t incorporate hardly any hills at all when training for my half marathon, so I’m wondering how much better I could’ve done if I’d had some training runs that included hills. I definitely need to start incorporating hills into my marathon training runs, but I’ll probably wait until it cools off a little bit.


Doni July 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm

There’s no such thing as a 6% grade hill where I live. It’s either flat or straight up. We do “cow mountain” a couple of times a month. (it’s a 9 mile mountain loop that always has cows on it that we have to navigate without getting stepped on).

The only tip I disagree with is the looking up the hill. It’s so much better for me mentally to just take the hill one step at a time. If I look up the hill and see how much further I have to go to get to the top, it’s OVER.


Traci July 25, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Fun little useless tidbit of info – Pitch Perfect was filmed in Baton Rouge, mostly on LSU’s campus, 3 mi. from my house! Brass Monkey is my fave running song – yeh I’m older than you & I also love Hey Jealousy.


Brooke @ Running In Heels July 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Looking forward to the Brooks Run Happy playlist!!


Lacy July 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm

How do you determine the grade of your hills? I have never quite figured out how to do that accurately.


The Hungry Runner Girl July 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Me neither ha! I just judged it as a 6 out of 10….. 10 being super steep! Just more of a moderate hill! Does that make sense?


Lacy July 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Haha, that is a good way to judge. Completely makes sense, thank you!


Mark Matthews July 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Icona Pop’s “I Love It”. I put it on repeat. Yeah, a little tacky, but “I don’t care, I love it, I love it!”


Sarah @ OurPersonalRecords July 25, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Not tacky! It’s a perfect running song and one of my faves!


Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama July 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Way to rock those hills! I did a five mile tempo run yesterday, and it was chockful of hills! My favorite part of hill running – the flying descent, especially on the trails!


Therese July 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I love hills-real hills not sloplike inclines that seem to go on for ever and just make you feel strong. But I don’t run anything as fast as you do!

Not sure if any of my songs are happy songs and I feel like my Itunes isn’t shuffling my playlist quite deeply enough. I can’t wait to see what people come up with . My songs are the tough kind that inspire you to try harder.


Rachel@curious runner girl July 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Haha, I love that part in Pitch Perfect… Rebel Wilson is hilarious! Hills… Aaargh! Used to love them but then didn’t run any while pregnant so finding them hard to get back in to. Well done!


Annette@FitnessPerks July 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Hahah. That’s from Pitch Perfect, of course :)

Running hills can be so so satisfying.


Laura July 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Great job with the hill workout. I did a mini hill workout at the end of my run today, too. I am trying to do them more, and tell myself I love those hills as I run up them. Love love love….

I can’t wait to see that compiled playlist on the Brooks blog. I am always looking for new music to run to!!
The songs that I would have to have on my current run happy playlist would be:
Blurred Lines-Robin Thicke, Can’t Hold Us- Macklemore&Ryan Lewis, Such Great Heights- The Postal Service, Marathon Man- The Roots, The Wind & Jump Right In- Zac Brown Band, and Untouched-The Veronicas.


Courtney July 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I hate hill running! Good for you :)

Excited for your playlist! I’m always looking for new songs to run to. As of late, here’s what I’m loving:
Beat It – Chris brown, Blurred Lines-Robin Thicke, Get Lucky- Daft Punk, Something that we’re not-Demi Lovato, Clarity-Zed, Cruise (Nelly remix version)-Florida Georgia Line, Next to me, Emeli Sande, No Church in the Wild-Jay Z (it’s got a perfect beat), Best Love Song-T-Pain, Club Can’t Handle Me- Flo Rida, Black & Yellow- Wiz Khalifa…. and pretty much anything hip hop with a fast beat :)


Emma @ a mom runs this town July 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Big and Rich Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy. Not the cleanest song but the beat just gets me every time!


Victoria July 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Pitch Perfect! Just watched it for the 50th time (probably) last night haha!

“Aca-scuse me?”


Kristen @ notsodomesticated July 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Is it wrong that when I read the thing about your nieces waking up Brooke, I thought “Oooh they better not have!!”?? Haha! Obviously I’m in the middle of baby-world and I live for her naps! ;) (Just kidding … kind of!)


Heather @farmgirlgonechicagoan July 25, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Way to go on your hill run! Don’t you hate when your GPS watch or anything else isn’t charged and ready to go? So frustrating!


lauren July 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Definitely “such great heights” by the postal service. That should be on every play list!


Sarah @ OurPersonalRecords July 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm

“On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons is one of the happiest songs for running that there is! I also love anything by One Direction because I get a cheesy teeny-bopper grin on my face when I hear their music (even though I am far from a teeny-bopper anymore)!


Cami July 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore is my absolute favorite running song. I always play it when I’m at a point in my run when I want to stop and it gives me the extra kick I need to make it up the big hill.


Emily July 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Pretty much all my runs have hills just because of where I live (i hate driving somewhere to run, I just want to step out my front door) and I do at least 50% of my runs with 75 pounds of kids/double jogger. So I’ve been forced to make hills my friends. But, I’ve trained my three year old to say things like “you can do it!” And “go mom!” on hills, so I always feel like super woman when I get to the top!


Lish July 25, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Springsteen – Born to Run is always on my playlist :)


Hali July 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm

I am starting to embrace running hills lately! Thanks for the tips!


Kristen @ Medium Roast July 25, 2013 at 9:40 pm

You absolutely have to include “Running Down a Dream” by Tom Petty. That song is my absolutely, g0-to jam for running these days. Or “Wake Me up” by Avicii – Not quite as classic, but a really great vibe.

And man, I am signed up for a half in October that has SIX hills. I don’t know what i was thinking. I need to find a way to train for this race because if I’m not ready for a ton of hills, it’s not going to be pretty…


Ash July 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men

Cruise by Florida Georgia Line +Nelly Remix

Impacto Remix- Daddy Yankee


Megan July 26, 2013 at 4:12 am

I have found that using apple cider vinegar with anything (BBQ, salsa, ect…) will make the most perfect salad dressing!!


Whitney July 26, 2013 at 6:52 am

Roll Away Your Stone- Mumford and Sons
Nova Baby- The Black Keys

Two of my faves for long runs!


stephanie July 26, 2013 at 7:52 am

Good Life – One Republic


Barbara July 26, 2013 at 9:11 am

Love that you get to spend time with your family!!! Looks like such a blast!

Some of my feel good running songs right now are Tip Toes by Jayme Dee, Popular Song by Mika & Ariana Grande, Hey LA by Ryan Beatty, Magic by One Direction, Wildfire by John Mayer, Party In The USA by Miley Cyrus, and I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes.


Melissa July 26, 2013 at 10:27 am

“Oh yeah”by Moby! Love that song! Also, good job on those hills!


Sarah @ How My World Runs July 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm

When I drive a hill I’ve run I feel quite proud of myself! That street you pictured looks like Healdsburg/Guyserville area of N. California where I raced last year.


Catherine July 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Happy songs…
Im thinking sunshine (max&simon)
Trouble (chris rene)
Brighter than the sun (colbie caillat)
Raspberry beret (prince)


Juli D. July 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Some of my favorite happy songs:

Jackie Wilson Said – Van Morison
It’s Your Thing – Isley Brothers
Pennies from Heaven – Louis Prima


Alexis July 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm

During my run this morning I thought about this blog post because I was running hills, giant hills. I leaned forward a bit, took smaller strides, and pumped my arms…and whoa! I was really surprised by the huge difference pumping my arms made and how much it helped get the rest of me up those hills! I thought I was using my arms before, but today I ‘exaggerated’ and realized what a wimpy arm pumper I was before. It made me feel strong, capable, and definitely reenergized. Thanks for the tip, Janae!

My current favorite running songs:
On Top of the World (Imagine Dragons)
Ho Hey (The Lumineers)
Carry On (Fun)
Girl on Fire (Alicia Keys)


Heather @ Run Like a G! July 27, 2013 at 5:28 am

I love hill work outs!!!!
They are the best :)


LosingLindy July 27, 2013 at 9:26 am

my favorite running song is “If you are running through hell, keep on going..” it is a country song. It is sort of old, but has a good beat.


Jenny July 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Where can I get that t-shirt?!


Kim July 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Thanks for the treadmill hill workout. I need to switch my running routine a little as well and this seems like a good challenge. I am going to try it out tomorrow and I will let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!


Adrianna July 29, 2013 at 7:54 pm

muse, uprising; the strokes, heart in a cage; the doors, break on through; incubus, pardon me; kayne west, Jesus walks.
jamming in my head right now :)


Christina July 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm

It’s an oldie but I’m an old soul when it comes to music!

Edwin Star “Twenty Five Miles” is my go to..pick up the pace… keep on going til the end.. motivational song!


The Hungry Runner Girl July 26, 2013 at 5:16 am

Maybe run the first 8-9 miles or so but walk the rest! It isn’t worth an injury to increase your mileage that quickly in my opinion!


Crissi@ runninggirlrn July 26, 2013 at 6:13 am

Good thinking! Thanks!!


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