Sub-1hr run session: improve over winter

Triathlon Scotland's lead performance coach Blair Cartmell provides a run session to help improve your strength and form over the off-season


While this hill session won’t be the most strenuous you’ll do this year, you’ll be working on your strength, speed and form simultaneously. 


>>>Four hill running sessions to boost your triathlon race speed

You can do this session on tarmac, trail or grass, however heading off-road may be more forgiving on your joints…


15mins easy, including mobility work and strides to finish


35mins as:

2 x  [6 x 30sec hill reps. Work on run form up the hill, drive the knees, activate the glutes, head up. Jog easy back down to the bottom; 6 x 30sec fast running on flat, either grass/track/tarmac. You should feel really good after the hill reps. 1min easy running after each rep; 5min easy jog]


10mins easy jog

Performance benefits

This may not look like a hard session, but it’s certainly useful. You’re able to work on strength on the hill rep, speed on the flat and run form on both. You should feel really good coming off the hill rep and onto the flat.

Mental benefits

The reps help to condition both body and mind, which will mean the terrain holds fewer fears come race day.

Physiological benefits 

This session will make you a better conditioned athlete and really help you in the final stages of a race. Can be repeated regularly because although the effort climbing the hill is high, it’s low on impact for the muscles and recovery is relatively fast.

How to fit it in

Best done when you’re relatively fresh in order to get the most out of it. Otherwise evening or morning is suitable depending on your own body clock’s preference

Adapt for long distance

This session is already very helpful for long-distance triathletes as it helps build a strong run to help retain form in the latter stages of the marathon.


For lots more performance advice and drills, head to our Training section