Workout Wednesday – Julie Andrews is a Fake!

by DavalosMcCormack on May 13, 2009

Remember that opening scene in the movie “The Sound of Music”, where Julie Andrews runs up a mountain and then bursts into song, singing “The hills are alive with the sound of music”. It’s a lie.

I’ve been doing hill running lately and by the time you reach the top the last thing you feel like doing or are capable of doing is singing. The only thing the hills are alive with at that point is the sound of people panting.

Hill running is a great way to pack a lot of work into a short workout.

Here in San Francisco we are blessed – or cursed – with many hills. I’m not talking gently sloping ones now I’m talking streets that are so steep that a few years ago someone trucked in several tons of ice and turned one street into a ski jump!

Fortunately, or unfortunately, that street is a block away from where I live so lately Shirley and I have been doing interval runs up and down it. It’s easy. You run up, walk down, repeat. It’s hard work. By the third lap your legs are wobbly, your thighs are burning, your lungs are bursting and your heart is pumping like crazy.

You don’t need any equipment, just running clothes. And the hill. And you only need 20 minutes to get a tremendous workout. As your stamina increases you can run longer, but for now that’s all we can manage – and believe me, it’s more than enough.

Now where you live may not be blessed with such steep hills but that’s ok, any hill will do. As long as it is sloping upwards it will force you to work harder than just running on the flat.

If the hill is just a short one you can do sprints up it, then jog back down. It’s not the size of the hill or the steepness that counts, but how hard it makes you work. So, use your imagination, find a way to get the most out of your hill.

The best bit about our hill is that at the bottom is a terrific coffee shop. That’s our reward. Once we’re done we stagger in, out of breath and sweaty, and our friends there don’t throw us out, instead they give us a cup of the most delicious coffee you have ever tasted.

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