Increase power, speed and injury resistance.
Not only do runners need to have an endurance base to build of but they also need a speed foundation.
Sprint training for distance runners is essential to serve as general speed but unfortunatelyit is underutilized. When done correctly, injury risk is low.
They are effective and essential for all runners who wish to improve and to be competitive.
Distance runners should use hills in their training to gain the many benefits available to them.
Hill sprints tests your neuromuscular system.
To train fast twitch fibres effectively, we need to provide a stimulus which activates them and quickly overloads them.
Short 10-12 sec max intensity effort against gravity with a full recovery (2′)will achieve this👌
Hill training when done correctly is a safe and effective way to improve your performance and develop power and muscle elasticity
✔Works on mechanics and pure sprint speed
✔Develops control and stabilization
✔Nervous System Adaptations
✔Developing a variety of training alternatives is also important to prevent overuse injuries and maintain motivation
Nice adaptations with muscle stiffness and reactivity.
Not only do hills provide runners with stronger, faster muscles, but they spend less time on the ground(decreased ground contact time).
A primary goal of any training is to utilize as many muscle fibres as possible so that adaptations can occur to make them more efficient.
Training on hills increases the amount of muscle fibres being used and in the number of different muscles that would otherwise not be used, always important if you want to increase performance as it increases muscle fibre pool which the runner can access.
Running hills can teach form in a way that can’t be taught on the flat as the body is in some ways forced into being more efficient.
Running is essentially a series of single spring like hops.
A certain amount of force needs to be applied to the ground to propel the athlete forward.
The most specific form of plyometric training for runners is essentially sprinting.
Steep hill sprints/blasts can be used as a method of power development to start with and then progress slowly to flat sprints on the track.
The emphasis shifts slowly from power development to a more plyometric type effect and more specific running form.
Starting with just a few blasts (running in the best technical model)
e.g 2-4 with a full recovery of 2-3′ and increasing the volume very progressively up to 10-12.
It is very important that you don’t decrease your recovery time as you lose the intensity and effectiveness of your sprint and use a different energy system. We dont want to accumulate lactate here!
The athlete should focus on a running technique which has vigorous arm drive and high knee lift, with the hips kept high, so that they are ‘running tall’, not leaning forward.
Pure speed work provides the foundation on which to build upwards towards race specificity.
Poceed with caution until you get over the hump of those early adaptations.
Hill training is an opportunity to grow.