Try the "Hill Beast" Interval: Training for Ultra Runs and Marathon

Ultrarunner Tobias Dahl Fenre gives you his best tips for tackling the ups and downs of running. In this article, you'll learn how to complete the "Hill Beast" interval.


2020 Ultra Runner of the Year: Tobias Dahl Fenre shares tips and experiences around running and training in the podcast Skisporet.

The lubrication manager of the Norwegian biathlon team, Tobias Dahl Fenre, regularly socializes with the world's best athletes on skis. He thinks 30 kilometres is a bit scant and is more concerned with performing in the long run.

Pick up tips by meritorious runners

Tobias is considered one of our best ultramarathon athletes, and in 2019 he was named ultrarunner of the year in Norway.

In addition to victories in both the EcoTrail 50 km and the Norwegian Cross Country Ultra Championships , he has participated in several international ultra races. 

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In the podcast Ski Track's Running Special, he talks about how he managed to increase his fitness, even with toddlers in the house. In the same episode you will also meet former winner of the Birkebeiner race and Olympic winner, Kristin Størmer Steira.

The full podcast episode is available on Apple podcast, Spotify and Youtube. Here, everyone, regardless of level, can pick up tips around running and running training.


Tobias Dahl Fenre and Kristin Størmer Steira visit the Ski Track podcast to talk about running. You can listen to the episode here.

Growing interest in ultra running

Ultra running and ultramarathons are becoming increasingly popular and organizers across the country are experiencing increased interest. An ultra race is typically 50 or 100 kilometers, or as timed distances of 6 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours.

There are also 48-hour races, 6-day races and other even longer challenges, for those who don't think a day of activity is enough. 

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To build capacity to cope with such stress, Tobias comes up with a session that has received some traction in the ultra and off-road world over the past year. A hill beast .

With this session, you'll be able to take your running training to a new level.

Interval training for ultra running: Hill beast with Tobias Dahl Fenre

Hill Beast is a progressive interval session, with 10-8-6-4-2 minutes, and takes about an hour to complete. Here you have a half-hour drag time uphill, but you also have to run downhill during breaks. Here you also practice becoming good at running downhill.

Here's how to run the hill beast:

  • Find a long uphill battle. A good starting point for ground beasts is therefore on a relatively long hill, either on asphalt or on gravel. A steep dirt road is the best, to avoid injuries to the knees and feet.
    To give an indication, Tobias uses a gravel road with a 15-20% gradient, but you may well start with somewhat gentler ground.
  • You choose the heating yourself. This can be, for example, light jog for 15 minutes, or you can take the first drag as part of the warm-up.
  • You're ready for the interval! The first drag should last a full 10 minutes. Cut two minutes for each drag you run as described above. 
  • Start at low intensity. When you reach the top of the hill, turn around and run at a good speed to the bottom of the hill, before repeating the exercise. This time a little faster. This way, you'll have a cohesive progressive session. You get some pause and lower heart rate when you run down to the starting position.
  • Finish with everything you've got. The last drag of two minutes is, by definition, anaerobic. Here it is important to give everything. Both up and down! And it's only when you're done with this that you're allowed to lie down.

We can guarantee that this session will get your heart rate up! For clothing for hill and other runs, check out the Swix Motion running collection.

Good luck :)