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WATCH: drills on hills – a different kind of hill workout for runners

Jon-Erik Kawamoto demonstrates a novel approach to the hill workout, incorporating warmup drills usually done on the flats

Photo by: JP Mullowney

In the November 2021 issue of Canadian Running, strength and conditioning coach Jon-Erik Kawamoto presents a challenging new hill workout for runners. Beyond jogging and sprinting up the hill, the workout incorporates exercises not usually seen in the context of hill running, and they’re guaranteed to take your hill training to another level.

Runners who routinely do A, B and C skips, carioca drills (also known as grapevines) and strides as part of their warmup for a speed workout will enjoy applying these tried-and-true exercises to their hill training. They add a level of interest and challenge that will spice up your hill workouts and, when done consistently, significantly benefit your running power.

Steph Bruce’s pre-workout drills for better running form

Ideally, the exercises should be done on a gradual incline (i.e. not too steep, so as not to risk injury) for about 30 seconds each, before carefully jogging back down to get ready for the next exercise. (As Kawamoto points out in the video, these exercises should not be combined with downhill training, due to the increased stress of the eccentric loading incurred when running fast downhill.)