Weekly Hill Workout

NOTICE: Due to the corona virus outbreak, NVRC Group Runs are suspended until further notice. The Club encourages you to be as active as possible, and if running with friends to take the recommended precautions.


Hill repeats are like track workouts with gravity. And since you can't escape hills in Central Pennsylvania, hill workouts are a good thing to add to your workout repertoire. Weekly Hill Workouts were started around 2007 by Hill Queen Tara Murray. After Tara's job moved her out to Bellefonte, Hill Workouts floundered for a while. But they've started back up, and on Tuesdays again, with His Hilliness Mike Renz and Her Meirjesty Meira Minard leading the charge.

The routine is similar to Thursday Track. The group assembles for the noontime run in the warmup area beside the main gym at Rec Hall. The runners leave at 12:10 PM. Mike or Meira picks a hill and the group does a warmup run from Rec Hall to the bottom of that hill. Then they scamper up and jog back down until they're good and tired.

If you want to get an early heads-up on the workout so you can meet the group at the hill instead of at Rec Hall, join the Google Group 'NVRUN'.

Summer Hours For Rec Hall Regulars: Due to the new limited hours of Rec Hall during the academic summer (from the first week of May through the start of the Fall semester, around the last week of August), Rec Hall Regulars leave Rec Hall by about 11:45 AM. For those not coming from Rec Hall, the meet-up at the hill of the week is about 25 minutes earlier during the summer!

Weekly Hill Workout: New Construction

August 11, 2015

Tired of the same ole hills, the crew set out to explorer new hills to test their legs on. What seemed to be a large hill workout group starting from Rec Hall, quickly dwindled down to a smaller number. Some runners were scared of anything new, some had to get back to work, some had to train for the Pikes Peak half marathon by not running any hills, and some claimed to have already completed their lunchtime run (although judging by the lack of perspiration, I’m guessing they too were scared). Thankfully the entire group wasn’t as nervous as the rest, and we headed off towards the Toftrees Trail to find this new hill, which had been previously deemed to be a mere 1.5 miles from Rec Hall.

2.5 miles later, we arrived. The hill is a nice single switchback, not too long, not too st! eep. A great newcomer hill to add to the repertoire. Confronted by construction equipment, box colverts, crushed stone, dirt, retaining walls, and confused construction workers….the crew wasted no time getting to work. Shovel Senior, Steamroller Zimmerman, BellefonteBackhoe Shafer, Excavator Maquire, Dozer Davis, Mechanic Martin, Wideload Weyandt, MackTruck Minard, Caterpillar Cornwall and Rusty Renz sped up the hill. What they weren’t expecting was the rain from last night turning the hill (a gravel construction road) into a soft and sometimes squishy terrain. Some places were extremely soft, sinking your shoes an inch into the mud/dirt as you pushed off to climb up the hill at a surveyors pace. The most busy of the group constructed 5 repeats, while the more jobsite managers of the group were happy with completing 3 or 4 repeats, knowing that they are the boss and could simply record that they did more.

Due to the distance of this hill from Rec Hall, we may not hit it too often, but it is a decent short climb / high volume workout for anyone looking to conquer some hills in their spare time. Next week we shall find something a little closer to home so that we can complete a more fuller set of hill repeats. In the mean time….make sure to not avoid any hills on your normal runs!

Weekly Hill Workout: Horror Show

July 21, 2015

It was a typically muggy day in central Pennsylvania, but something was different. Something was off. Scary even. The group was zombie-like as they left Rec Hall. Kids on campus shuddered and crossed the street as the crew ran towards them. Everyone had devolved into something monsterous-like. Seth Senior had crashed hard and face first on a trail, but rather than be put back together better, faster and stronger like the $6million man, he was forced to see the first available doctor: Dr. Victor Frankenstein.

Not wanting Seth Frankenstein Senior to be the only horror-quality runner for today’s hill workout, he was joined by Mike Jekyll Martin, Mike Hyde Zimmerman, Costas Dracula Maranas, Alex The Fly Wouden, Adam Hannibal Ilgen, Rich Leatherface Harter, Tom Jaws Cali, CJason Vorhees Wagner, Bob Norman Bates Shaver, Judd Michael Myers, Meira Bride of Chucky Minard and Mike Werewolf Renz. In hopes of not scaring any small children, everyone slithered, crawed, limped, and hobbled far away to Porter Road to tackle the deathly climb from College Ave to Curtin Rd…one of the longest sustained climbs within a mile or two of Rec Hall.

Given the heat, the distance from Rec Hall starting point, and the loss of blood, plasma, limbs, and brains…the repeat # was low today: with a good chunk of the crew only attaining 2 repeats. Everyone did the entire climb from College to Curtin first. It was The Fly and Hannibal who were scary enough to attack the entire climb more than once. A chunk of dysfunctional boogeymen completed the tri-fecta of each version of climb available on this two tiered hill. Given enough tubs-o-popcorn, gummy bears, and ! troughs of pepsi products, the hill workout group should be able to face humanity again next week as we run up and down some more hills, somewhere, and some pace, under some duress, causing some heavy breathing and some increased potential for some upcoming races as some point in time.

Weekly Hill Workout: While The Cat's Away, The Mice Will Play

July 28, 2015

In his stead, he called on a backup Mike to lead the charge up the Gill Street Hill.  With the cat away, Mike "Stuart Little" Zimmerman led a group of Mouseketeers to embark on another grueling workout.  Joined by Tom & "Jerry" Cali, Jo "Minnie Mouse" Ohm, Alex "Speedy Gonzalez" Wouden, Michael "Fievel" Goldfine, CJ "Mickey Mouse" Wagner, Alfredo "Mighty Mouse" Ramirez, Bob "Danger Mouse" Cornwall and Rob "Itchy" Shaver the group headed out to earn our cheese for the day.  The group was met by "Pinky and the Brain" - Adam Ilgen (who had done some repeats prior to our arrival) and Mark Fedkin who were eager to join the group!

Inspired by the leadership change, everyone stayed for the entire hill workout which included four continuous bike path hill repeats followed by the full hill repeat to the top of Gill Street before we said goodbye to Pinky and the Brain and headed back to Rec Hall for our cheese to reward us for our hard work.

Until next week, when Garfield Renz returns to lead the group and uninspire Tom & "Jerry" Cali and Danger Mouse Cornwall away from the hills again.

Weekly Hill Workout: All-In St.

July 14, 2014

High Humidity and glaring sun couldn’t keep the attendance of hill repeat day to a minimum. Hill workouts are seemingly gaining more and more attendance and interest. It’s great to see so many people show up ready to push themselves up some hills, especially in this kind of heat. Today we were all in on Allen St, the northern end of Allen running from Cherry Lane to Hillcrest Ave. A lovely two-tiered climb with a subtle hint of increased grade during the first tier, and an exuberant aftertaste of ‘that’s too steep for today’ to finish off the second tier.

Attendance at Rec Hall was phenomenal but some of the regulars just didn’t have it in them today for a hill workout. As we set forth to the hill, we lost 4 potential climbers who got reeled in to the sanctity of a regular run. It was the rest of the group, dedicated to the hill, who stayed on course ready and willing to complete today’s workout. It was decided that today would be a recovery style workout day, with a few in attendance having just raced two days prior and still feeling it in their legs and the rest of the group still wallowing in pain from last week’s monster workout…the callout was “at least 4” repeats of the two-tiered torturous trot. But four just wasn’t enough and the entire group decided that 5 complete repeats was a better goal. Marty Minard, Marty Zimmerman, Marty Senior, Marty Wouden, Marty Ilgen, Marty Ramirez, Marty Wagner, Marty Maguire and Marty Renz all managed 5 repeats. The hill workout was also graced by the presence of local trail savant Marty Koetje-Simin who tried to convince everyone to run up the hill in the grass between the curb and sidewalk. Saddened from recruiting no grassers, she cut the workout short and headed home by way of dirt, root, and gravel. Marty Wouden showed off his hard work and determination and stuck around to do at least 1 more repeat as the rest of the gaggle-o-marty trotted back towards Rec Hall at a trailsnail pace.

Join us next week as we plan an off-road hill workout so some of the trail runners of the group feel more at home. Don’t be fooled by the sounds of this…we will be running up the hill repeatedly making it more like a roadie workout. Although if anyone wants to bring some sammiches for increased motivation to make it to the top of the hill multiple times, this roadie will not complain!

*Disclaimer: The whole roadie vs trail runner is just some fun we poke at each other while we run. The picking on trail runners is all in good spirited fun so don’t let this writeup dissuade you from joining the group hill workouts if you’re a trail runner through and through.