HILLWOD 40 is a timeless time trial! This milestone run represents not only the last in my 40 Hill Running workouts series, but also the first of my Flow State Runner Workouts. The theme of today’s hill workout is flow. This is a Zero Technology run, designed of course to challenge you from a conditioning perspective, but also to offer a glimpse of my flow state running practice in my forthcoming book, Flow State Runner .
Complete the following 4 components, in the order listed.
- Flow Micro Challenge: A few minutes into the run (just guess the time) and once you’ve warmed up a litte, complete a 30 second sprint. You likely won’t feel ready for this mentally or physically. Accelerate into the sprint to avoid injury, but push yourself into a zone of discomfort that suits your normal interval running. Run easy for 1 minute and then repeat a sprint for another 30 seconds. Sprint with the image that a lion is chasing you!
- Flow Release: Play for 1 minute – you escaped the lion. This can be on playground equipment (like a slide), running backwards, skipping or running like a kid. Just goof off for 1 minute. At the end, take 3-5 deep, slow breaths, with long exhales. Then, transition to the start of your hill.
- Flow Run: Run up your time trial hill, pushing hard, but not focusing on a watch. Focus instead on tapping into the energy around you: nature, people, animals. Enter a state of heightened awareness and transfer whatever energy you see (a running dog, a stream, wind in the trees) into your legs. Today you don’t run for time, you run for life. You run for you.
- Flow Recovery: Close your eyes at the top and breathe 3 deep breaths with long exhalations. Focus your thoughts for just a moment on gratitude, for having a body that allowed you to make it to where you are and for making some time for yourself. Open your eyes and run or walk home. Journal any new ideas that came to you and channel your newfound energy into something productive.
- Locate a hill that will take you anywhere from 10-15 minutes to run up. If you’ve only got a 2min hill, repeat it.
- NO technology allowed on this run. No watch. No phone. No heart rate monitor. No camera. No music. No mid-run social media posts or photos.
- #hillseeker #hillwod to share your photos or experience!
Notes from Jeff’s test run of this HILLWOD: I did this one in Richterswil, Switzerland on December 29th. I was quite excited to be heading out the door for the last of my 40 hill runs project. On HILLWOD 10, 40 seemed so far away! I ran my two flow micro challenge sprints at the begining, indeed envisioning that I was being chased. It was a foggy, cold day, so my lungs were shocked a bit when I started this early run sprinting business! I then slid down a slide and laughed, because it was fun to just goof off and play on a playground slide. I ran backward for a minute, completed my relaxation breaths and then charged into the forest. I noticed beautiful rays of sunlight streaming through the trees and burning through the fog. My first reaction was to take a photo — that it would make a great photo for this article — but I had followed my own runs and for my first HILLWOD ever, didn’t bring my phone or camera. How nice that was … just taking in the scenery instead of trying to immediately capture it. I noticed so much more on this run, the moss on the rocks in the middle of the stream, a startled bird taking off, richer colors, how the sound of the stream changed. I tapped into each new observation as a momentary energy source. It was a beautiful run. I still pushed it hard though and before I knew it, I was standing in the sunshine at the top of the hill, above the fog. It was symbolic and idylic. I completed my deep, relaxing gratitude breaths and walked home. On the walk home, I was hit with a flood of new ideas, ideas for my book, ideas for new books, ideas for workouts. My only regret at that moment was not having a notepad or voice recorder to capture it all. The moment I walked in the door, I typed non-stop for an hour just to get it all out of my head and onto my screen. For me, this was a successful flow run and a successful project for 2015. Thanks very much for following along and hopefully completing some of my hill workouts!
Have a great hill workout!
— Coach Jeff