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Great question! So there is a reason for the lack of detail. First off, no one has the same hill and not everyone has the same experience level. Instead of worrying about whether the hill is long enough or steep enough, I would rather have you focus on what is the purpose of the workout.
The purpose of the workout is to do exactly what you stated, to get your HR up. Of course, we don’t want you to blow up. But the purpose of hill repeats is to use nature as your training tool. And the purpose is to start getting your heart up and then use the walk back down for recovery purposes. What this does is ‘train’ your heart rate. We train it to go up (to improve fitness) and then train it to come back down to ward off heart rate drift and to train it to come back down quickly in a race setting (like if you need to pass someone or find your HR rising too fast for your distance). If you never train it to come back down, it won’t unless you stop. So using hill repeats is a great way to start ‘training’ your heart rate. And this is the purpose of the workout.
Thus the distance or steepness of the hill doesn’t really matter. As long as you are gaining the benefits of the workout, this is what matters. If the hill gets too easy, find a different hill. If the hill ‘blows up’ your heart rate, maybe you want to start with a hill that is a little more generous to your experience level.
Again, we are going to talk about all of this at the Kick Off Meeting! So please attend so you can gain all of this insight and meet some training partners all at the same time! See you there! And keep the questions coming. It was a good one, Nick!