10K Hill Training Workouts

By Rick Morris

There’s no such thing as an bad hill training run. Any time you’re running up or down hill you’re doing a good job of improving your running economy, strength and fitness. With that being said you can still make your 10K hill workouts even more efficient by designing them to meet your specific running goal. If you’re training for a marathon you should do hill training workouts that are specifically intended to help you meet your marathon goal. If your goal race is a 5K your hill workouts should be designed for that specific distance. Here are just a few of the many possible workouts to get you ready for your next 5K PR.

The main problem with hill training is finding a hill of appropriate length and incline in your area. If you live in a hill challenged location you can always do these hill workouts on a treadmill.

10K Hill Sprints

This hill sprinting workout is a training run that doesn’t change much as your goal race changes. The purpose of this very high intensity workout is to build your running strength, power and speed. Your pace during this workout is at nearly all out pace and is anaerobic in nature. The goal is to maximize your strength and power gains rather than improve endurance so the workout can be used for all distances from the mile to the marathon.

  • Description: Run 8 to 15 repeats of about 150 meters up a steep hill of 10% to 15% elevation. Run at the fastest pace you can maintain for the repeat. For your first attempt at this hill workout do 8 repetitions and gradually build up your number of reps as you get stronger and fitter.
  • Pace: The fastest pace you can maintain on each work repeats.
  • Recovery: Recover between each hill repeat by walking or running at a very easy pace down the hill. As soon as you reach your starting point at the bottom of the hill turn around at begin your next repeat.

10K Hill Power Runs

For this 10K hill training you will need to find a hill that is around 400 meters in length and with a moderate to steep elevation of around 10% incline.

  • Description: Run 4 to 10 repeats of 400 meters up a moderate to steep hill of around 8% to 12% elevation. Concentrate on maintaining a strong steady pace throughout this hill climb.
  • Pace: Try to maintain a pace that is just a bit faster than your current 10K race pace.
  • Recovery: Recover by walking or jogging down the hill at an easy pace. Begin your next repeat as soon as you reach your starting point at the bottom of the hill.

10K Hill Lactate Builders

This hill workout is not only a great 10K specific workout but it is also an excellent training run to build and improve your lactate turn point.

  • Description: Run four to eight 800 meter hill repeats up a moderate to steep hill of between 8% and 12% elevation.
  • Pace: Run at a pace that is a close to your current 10K pace as you can maintain.
  • Recovery: Recover by jogging down the hill at an easy pace. Turn around when you reach the bottom of the hill and begin your next repeat.

10K Hill Accelerators

If you’re training for a 10K race you need to develop your ability to not only maintain a quality pace but increase your pace during the final sprint to the finish. This 10K hill training run will help develop your finishing kick and your ability to run at a hard pace when fatigued.

  • Description: Run 800 to 1000 meters up a hill of moderate incline of between 5% and 8%. Begin your hill run at approximately 10K pace and gradually increase your pace so that you are running at mile pace for the final 100 meters. Perform 3 to 6 of these repeats.
  • Pace: Steady acceleration from current 10K pace to mile pace.
  • Recovery: Recover between each repeat by jogging down the hill. Begin your next repeat upon reaching your starting point at the bottom of the hill.

10K Hill Tempo Run

You’ll need to find a long steady climb for this hill training session. If you can’t find a long hill, do this one on your treadmill.

  • Description: Run 10 kilometers up a moderate hill of 5% to 8% incline. Run at a steady tempo pace or between 10K pace and 30 seconds per mile slower than 10K pace.
  • Pace: Strong tempo pace or between 10K race pace and 30 seconds slower than 10K pace.
  • Recovery: This is a steady state workout. There is no recovery. After completing your hill climb run down the hill at an easy pace.