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by Meghann on March 2, 2012

Good morning!

On tap for today:

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If I’m being honest, I have to admit that I almost skipped my hill workout this morning. Since there are ZERO hills around my house, a hill workout would either mean A: driving far away in search of hills (or bridges) or B: driving to my gym for the treadmill. Eh. Both options didn’t sound great at 6:00am, when I knew I could easily step out my door to run without needing to drive anywhere.

But I did what any good marathoner-in-training would do and just pushed all negative thoughts out of my mind. I told myself that I NEED hill workouts if I want to run Flying Pig in May and then reminded myself of that shiny 3:55 finish time I’m aiming for. I’m thinking of putting a sign on the back of my front door that reads ‘3:55 or Bust’ just for extra motivation when I feel like slacking during training. Being reminded of that incredible feeling you get when you achieve a goal is really all the motivation I need to keep my head in the game. Nothing can beat that feeling.

This is the first marathon (or race, really) where I’m determined to put the extra effort in training for hills. Since I’m not as familiar with hill workouts as I am with speed workouts, I simply googled ‘treadmill hill workouts’ before I left for the gym. I landed on Four Great Treadmill Workouts from and selected the pyramid workout.

Workout: The Pyramid

Set 1: steady pace 1 minute each @ 4, 5 and 6 percent incline

2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 2: steady pace 1 minute each @ 5, 6 and 7 percent incline

2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 3: steady pace 1 minute each @ 6, 7 and 8 percent incline

2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 4: steady pace 1 minute each @ 7, 6 and 5 percent incline

2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 5: steady pace 1 minute each @ 6, 5 and 4 percent incline

2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

This fun workout comes from competitive masters runner Melissa Trunnell, who, despite living in Southern California, hits the treadmill for a fun diversion from her normal routine and when traveling for work. The usual warm-up and cool-down sandwich the workout.

I started my warmup with 10 minutes at 6.5 and as the inclines grew higher during the pyramid, my speeds grew slower. When I hit the peak 8 percent incline, I was barely hanging onto 5.2. During the flat ‘jogs’ I managed to keep it steady at 6.5, but I could definitely feel my weakness with the inclines. I’ve got a LOT of work ahead of me.

The good news is, during my cool-down, my legs felt great. I even added on a little extra at a slightly faster speed because my legs just felt ready to move. I could have just kept going and going if I didn’t cut myself off. I’ll take that as a good sign.

I returned home after the gym and made a plate of toast for breakfast.


Two slices of german wheat toast slathered with almond butter, pumpkin butter, raisins, and walnuts.


With an orange.


I ended up eating the slices of the orange on top of the toast. Yum!

Shameless Plug

Yesterday Fitness Magazine released their first round of nominees for their first annual ‘Fiteratti Awards’ and guess who was nominated for Best Running Blog?!?!

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eekkk!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I‘m both humbled and honored to have been nominated. There are so many wonderful running blogs out there (just check out the list of the other nominees!) and to be selected among the best of them is truly an honor.

Voting for the Fiteratti Awards runs until April 12, 2012, you can simply go here and click ‘vote’.
Not that this is a real competition (it’s an honor to just be nominated), but I wanted to throw that out. You know. For fun. No pressure. ๐Ÿ˜‰
1 Krissy @ Shiawase Life March 2, 2012 at 10:00 am

3:55 is definitely on tap for you, Meghann! ๐Ÿ˜€
Krissy @ Shiawase Life recently posted..MARCHINโ€™ in!

2 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 2, 2012 at 10:03 am

Haha yea, I live in Chicago and because of the Lake there are ZERO hills around here. I went to CO Springs in January (going back in a week and a half!!!!) and running just around the neighborhood with the altitude and the hills about killed me! (literally almost threw up at one point… TMI?) I’m just glad my first marathon is going to be Chicago, or I’d be dead!
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..Veggie Recipes and HIIT Bike Workout

3 Caroline March 2, 2012 at 10:04 am

I don’t have any hills around my house really, so I have almost never done any hill training. I should do it sometimes on the treadmill though…
Caroline recently posted..Healthy Snacks: Nut Butter and Cottage Cheese

4 Faith @ For the Health of It March 2, 2012 at 10:08 am

Bleh – hill running is tough! There are seriously none here in Orlando and I’m sure as heck not bad-ass enough to conquer the ones in Clermont!

5 Cait's Plate March 2, 2012 at 10:16 am

Good for you! Hills are my LEAST favorite thing!!

And congrats on the Fitness award! How exciting ๐Ÿ™‚
Cait’s Plate recently posted..Pepperoni Calzone

6 Jen @ Whittle My Middle March 2, 2012 at 10:29 am

Congrats on the Fitness award! Hill training is tough but when you speed past everyone on the hills, it’s so worth it.
Jen @ Whittle My Middle recently posted..Goodbye February, Hello March

7 Amanda March 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

I don’t mind the treadmill so much when I have a plan written out lile that. Your workout looks like a good one. Also, I always find that its SO much easier to run flat on the treadmill after doing hills!

8 Lisa @ Jogging on Coffee March 2, 2012 at 10:49 am

Thanks for sharing this workout! I need to work on hill training but I’m not brave enough to run outside in the winter.

Congrats on the nomination ๐Ÿ™‚
Lisa @ Jogging on Coffee recently posted..6 Miles with the Bachelor

9 Dana March 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

Be careful training for hills only on a treadmill. They’re great for that going up part, but you can’t train for going down on a treadmill and running downhill (especially some of the ones on the Flying Pig course) can be way worse on your joints than going up. I can’t seem to find it now, but Runners World had an article about some exercises to do after a treadhill workout that help to simulate/strengthen the muscles you need for going downhill. I’ll keep looking for it…

10 Meghann March 2, 2012 at 11:46 am

Great advice Dana! Let me know if you find that workout – I would love to read it! ๐Ÿ™‚

11 Dana March 2, 2012 at 11:52 am

Ah-ha I found it!,7120,s6-240-322–14179-0,00.html

Since most (read: affordable) treadmills don’t come with a decline setting, mimicking the stress of running downhill requires an additional move or two off the treadmill. Like downhill running, both lunges and squats cause the tissue damage that ultimately creates stronger quad muscles, says Carwyn Sharp, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise science and nutrition at the College of Charleston.

Warm up for 1.5 to 2.5 miles, then raise the incline to three or four percent and run for two minutes at 15 seconds slower than your 10-K pace (or a pace that feels moderately hard). Raise the machine’s incline to four to six percent for two minutes, then six to 10 percent for two minutes. Run at two percent for two minutes. Repeat the sequence two to six times, increasing your speed by five to 10 seconds each time. Immediately after your run, do two to four sets of 10 to 15 lunges (per leg) and squats.

12 Meghann March 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Sweet! Thanks!

13 corey @ learning patience March 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

Hill workouts have really helped me in my training…
Congrats on the nomination – just voted!

xoxo from Trinidad
corey @ learning patience recently posted..Tea Time

14 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

VOTED!! Congrats!

YAH on hills. I love ’em. I just do! I like the burn in my buns and hamstrings. YESSSSS
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife recently posted..Abs and Glutes Burner

15 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm

That is amazing!!!! congrats!!!!!

16 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City March 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Congrats on the nomination!

Be careful with treadmill hill inclines. If you tend to stride differently on the treadmill than outdoors, the incline may cause you to heel strike which can cause injuries. If you don’t run any differently than no worries ๐Ÿ™‚ and go you!
Lindsay @ Running the Windy City recently posted..What the Heel?

17 Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt March 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Congrats on the nomination!
Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt recently posted..Rolling on

18 Emily March 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

so our hills (as I have been seeing and running) are long… not too steep, but LONG… So I live here and that is how I have been training… If that helps for your own marathon training. Bridges are perfect practice, honestly… except for the big one (Eden Park) but at least its beautiful there!
Emily recently posted..Working Toward some Goals

19 Brittney March 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm

How did you do it? How did you force yourself to do that hill workout? Following through with my workouts are the hardest thing for me.

20 Jessica March 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I am a cincinnatian and it’s very hilly here. Good call on doing the hill training. The pig is a hilly route.
Jessica recently posted..โ€œYou have to hurt in order to know. Fall in order to grow. Lose in order to gain. Because most of lifeโ€™s lessons are learned in pain.โ€ โ€” Unknown

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