I like to make each run unique. I change my route, speed and music frequently to keep my runs fresh and my body challenged. One of my favorite ways to shake up my routine is to run hills. Hill training strengthens quads, builds endurance, and helps shape glutes – especially uphill running. Hill running is easy while I am surrounded by mountains and trails in Arizona, but while in my city on Lake Superior I don't have these options so I have to get creative.
The five miles went by quickly on my morning run. Today it was the old south side of Thunder Bay. Planning on getting in some hills, I picked a new route in an old industrial area over the "Fish" bridge connecting the city to the lake. The bridge provided a nice elevation change (and a beautiful view of the still frigid lake).
Bridges provide challenges to urban runs that are naturally flat, add variety and beautiful scenery and new opportunities for building strength and endurance. Try to schedule a hill run at least once a week with hill repeats a preferred training tool. Find a hill or bridge with at least 100 feet elevation change. Run up the hill and walk down. Repeat it four to six times to start. If you are in a city with no bridges, look for some city steps to run. You will notice the results with improved speed and strength while keeping your mind and body fresh.