Running hills in the off-season and early season is so beneficial to your overall triathlon training that I decided to dedicate a 2-part series of my Workout Wednesday powered by Bioastin sessions to hill progressions. (You can read part 1 here ).
Why devote your limited training time to the [occasional] discomfort associated with short hill repeats when you could instead take your usual cruise around the neighborhood?
These short, intense intervals provide a huge return to your strength, power and overall speed. Additionally hill repeats tap into your fast twitch muscle fibers, helping to keep them activated year-round.
Some athletes stick to only easy paced runs throughout the winter or off-season. This causes the fast twitch muscle fibers to fall dormant and makes it harder to find speed come spring if you haven’t tapped into them for months. So, instead of that easy-paced neighborhood loop, find a hill and put in the work.
Although, these workouts aren’t fancy and — at first glance — might look somewhat similar week-to-week, they get the job done in a progressive manner. If you dedicate yourself to including hill sessions into your overall run program this winter, I guarantee that you’ll see gains in your run strength and speed as the weather starts warming up in the springtime.
So… why wouldn’t you run hills?
Run Hill Repeats — Part 2
This workout can be done on the treadmill at a 5%uphill grade. Some treadmills allow a negative or downhill option. If so, then select -2% for all downhill segments.
When running outside, the ideal hill is approximately 200 yards/meters in length at a 5% grade. A variable gradient is fine.
Remember: when you’re running concentrate on your form and don’t jog the downhills. Tap into your inner sprinter and push yourself throughout this workout.
9 min up to — but not faster than — aerobic pace.
6 x 20 sec pick-ups with an easy glide recovery of 40 sec.
3 x 45 sec
Rest Interval (RI) 30 sec
5 x 25 sec
RI 20 sec
Maintain a hard pace to the finish of each repeat and hit the last two repeats with a very hard effort.
After each downhill repetition, run 16 steps on the balls of your feet. This strengthens the soleus during the eccentric loading. After those 16 strides, change to running 16 steps with light heel contact. Continue this pattern of 16 on ball of metatarsal pad and 16 regular stride.
Immediately following the hill repeats hold 1.5 mi or 2k on a flat road at aerobic pace. Depending upon your pace, do not exceed 10 min and note your distance.
Repeat the entire main set again and — if you have the time & energy — do a third set.
5 to 10 minutes at an aerobic or easy pace.
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