Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Hill sprints

This is the hill I do my sprints on

If you are determined to become a faster runner (like me), no matter what distance you are training for, I would recommend working hill sprints in to your training schedule.

What do I mean by hill sprints? I mean finding a nice stretch of uphill and sprinting up it as fast as you can. The stretch I use is around 60-70 meters, but just run whatever feels comfortable to you.

This is very similar to normal interval sprints, but with the addition of hills you will find yourself getting fitter, faster, stronger, and leaner - all good things for a runner. Hill sprints are also great at boosting HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which is essential for allowing your muscles to build and repair, which will result in you becoming a faster stronger runner.

Another way hill reps will make you quicker, is that it will increase your stride length. Uphill running helps us increase our knee lift. You will really work your quads and hip flexors by lifting your knee higher which will translate to a longer stride when running on flat. If you can maintain a longer stride, you will run the distance faster! Great News!

Yet another plus side, is that if you regularly train on hills, you will not dread hills when they come up on race day. So there are psychological  benefits to hill running too, which is great because as we know, all runners are mental.

How to structure your hill Sprints

I would recommend starting with 5 reps and adding another rep each week till you get to 10. I would also suggest that you do hill reps twice a week, then just watch your times come flying down. A lot of runners will feel cheated out of a long run if they are only on their feet for 20 mins, but If you are doing it right, you should be a breathless, sweating mess.

Let me know if you do hill sprints and if you have any tips? Do you prefer flat sprints? Have you noticed a difference by incorporating hill sprints in to your training?
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