Hill training and it's benefits
Hill training promotes the development of lower leg and quad strength; a good hill training session combines the benefits of weight training with the aerobic and anaerobic conditioning of running. In addition, hill training strengthens you mentally; completing these tough workouts will help you deal with the physical discomfort of racing.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HILL TRAIN?
As a general rule, hill training is done once per week - done properly, these sessions are very demanding.
HOW LONG AND STEEP DOES THE HILL NEED TO BE?
Obviously the geography of where you live and train will dictate the type of hill you can train on; you've got to work with what you've got. The ideal hill for a strength and stamina hill workout should take you about 90 seconds to climb. The grade should be steep enough that you "feel the burn" in your legs over the last half or quarter of the hill repeat, yet not so steep that your normal running form is significantly compromised.
WHAT ABOUT INCORPORATING HILLS INTO MY EVERYDAY RUNS?
There is nothing wrong with running up and down hills as part of your everyday runs. However, like almost anything else, you can overdo it. You should avoid hilly terrain on your recovery runs. Also, more than three days in a row on a hilly course is more than most runners can handle.
WHAT MODIFICATIONS TO MY RUNNING FORM DO I NEED TO MAKE?
Climbing hills requires a slightly modified running technique. This involves shortening your normal stride, dropping your shoulders to ensure a lower arm carriage, and leaning slightly forward into the hill. You should aim for a strong, steady and consistent pace throughout the hill rep.
Running downhill also requires some modifications. Again, shortening the stride and leaning slightly forward is helpful. For steep down hills, thinking about leaping from one foot to the other can be an effective way to quickly negotiate the hill.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
PACERS Running Tips - Hills
Let me make a confession, through all my training for 2 marathons I have never done a "hill workout" or a "track workout" not once, not never. I've had the INTENTIONS to do one or the other but I have never committed a workout purely to hills, that I can think of. Don't get me wrong, I run routes sometimes and will pick it purely because it is hilly in nature, such as my new favorite, Lake Barcroft loop. Regardless, today Pacers newsletter had a side article about training on hills and figured it was a great article to pass on. If you have not already, I strongly recommend going to the Pacers web-site and signing up for the newsletter here