The hills are alive in Melbourne?

view from Mt. Buffalo

view from Mt. Buffalo

I was in the spectacular region of Bright last weekend, and it was only natural to go for a run that took me to the Mt. Buffalo Chalet. The last 11.3 kms of which rises 700m or so as it follows the BIG WALK hiking trail, which is also known to Buffalo Stampede runners. A most spectacular course, but I quickly discovered that whilst I am reasonably quick on the flat tracks around bayside Melbourne, the hills or mountains quickly brought me undone.

 

This lead to the realisation that I need to find and hit some big hills around Melbourne ASAP, as I prepare for the GOR Half in 5 weeks time, and then the Wonderland Run in the Grampians in August.

Hills are an integral part of many runners' training, and serve to build strength, form and condition to your running, and hence boost performance. Here's a link to a previous post I have written on the beneficial effects of hills training & why you should include these in your training regime.

Whilst you will find plenty of good long hills on the outer suburbs of Melbourne and beyond, such as in Heidelberg, Templestowe, Dandenongs, 1000 steps, You Yangs etc, there are not many around the pancake like flat-lands of inner Melbourne.

So, I've decided to compile a short list of decent hills that we can access around inner Melbourne that will help with your hills training.

1. Anderson Street, The Tan

A popular running location, with a decent mid length hill of about 400m to work with. Most of us have completed many, many reps of this local favourite, and you can catch my own Friday morning running group here every Friday morning from 6:15am.

So, I've decided to compile a short list of decent hills that we can access around inner Melbourne that will help with your hills training.

1. Anderson Street, The Tan

A popular running location, with a decent mid length hill of about 400m to work with. Most of us have completed many, many reps of this local favourite, and you can catch my own Friday morning running group here every Friday morning from 6:15am.

2. Kew Boulevard

An excellent course of undulating hills stretching about 7kms from end to end, popular amongst cyclists and runners alike.

3. Walmer Street ( off Kew Blvd)

Walmer Street runs past the southern end of Kew Blvd, and if you start from down near the Yarra River, it stretches up at a good gradient nearly 1 km to Studley Park Road. That classifies it as a Long Hill!

4. Princess Street to Barclay St/St.Kilda Road to Alma Road

One of my local favourites, and basically the only decent hill nearby, these two hills that meet together at the top (Barclay Street) offer a shorter steeper option ( Princess St-400m) or the longer, less steep section along the highway ( 600m). Not such a pretty option (traffic) but it's about the best I can offer in the area.

5. Fitzroy Gardens

As I often run during work hours from the CBD, I have found Fitzroy Gardens at the Eastern end of town a very attractive place to punch out some surprisingly good length hills. Whilst not so steep, these longer inclines can be weaved up, down & around in all kinds of combinations to give you a pretty decent workout.

6. Back of Essendon Airport

Somewhere in my distant track training past ( thanks Coach Bisinella) is the painful memory of a (horrendous) long set of steep stairs somewhere out the back of Essendon Airport. I can't even tell you what street it is, but it rises from the depths of the creek and bike paths up & up into a residential court. Too many painful repeats were done here to take any more notice of this place other than the vague memory of the airport in the distance, as we lay flat on our backs sucking in gulps of air.

Please feel free to share and add some more of your favourites that I and others can enjoy also.

Happy hill running and as always Run Well!