17. try “The Zipper”

Running tip #17

I love to make up workouts.  It might be my favorite thing in life.  I especially delight in creating a workout to fit the terrain of wherever it is I happen to be running.  For instance, at the bottom of a valley with hills on either side I run back and forth between each hill (swinging up and down like a pendulum) rather that repeating just one side over and over.  I call this workout “bowl hills.”


Another hill workout I have named is “The Zipper.”  Find a 3:00 long hill and run up using the following sprint increments (also called “steps”) with equal time jog-down recovery: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70

10 seconds sprint up -10 seconds jog down; 20 seconds sprint up – 20 seconds jog down, 30 seconds up – 30 seconds down, etc. until you reach the top of the hill at the 70-second mark (for a total time on your watch of 8:10).  Jog back down all the way to the bottom before starting the 2nd of 3 sets.

The difference between The Zipper and other hill workouts is that you don’t jog back down to the bottom after each sprint increment.  I named it the zipper b/c the workout is best explained visually:


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One Response to 17. try “The Zipper”

  1. Jenny K

    Where is the “like” button? I love this post and I love The Zipper. This is a great workout for a group of runners with differing abilities. As the zipper progresses people are scattered up the hill, but all end up together at the end. Awesome!

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