Workout of the Week: 086 – Hill Strides & Tempos

This workout is one of my all-time favourites. It combines the intensity of the hills with the grind of a tempo run … twice over!


Hill Strides & Tempo Runs

2 sets of:
3x 30sec uphill strides
10mins @ your lactate threshold pace (a.k.a 1-hour race pace)
5mins recovery jog between sets

Terrain: Mild-to-moderately steep hill + flat, measurable pathway.

This workout is an exercise in getting comfortable with discomfort. The discomfort on hill reps seems to kick in around the 20-second mark in each of the reps as your body realises its dealing with endurance as well as power.

The discomfort in the tempo runs comes from pre-fatiguing the legs with the hill reps and then kicks in again in the final few minutes of each 10-minute block. In both cases, stay relaxed and focus on the good technique—it’s always over before you know it!


The hills develop that power that translates, in the long term, to improved technique and efficiency on the flats.

Tempo runs at lactate threshold are designed to tap into that threshold where your body switches on a new energy system. The more you can teach your body to operate off this energy system, the more you’ll be able to flush fatigue on the run and push through that discomfort.


Choose a hill that is mild to moderately steep, perhaps between 4 and 7%. Not so flat that you’re not forced to recruit more muscle fibres, and not so steep that your technique is affected. You could use a treadmill for this as well (and just rest for a minute after each rep).

For your recoveries on your hill strides, jog back down very slowly to your starting point after each rep.

Be sure to calculate your lactate threshold on our calculator at