Books to Improve your Running
Training on hills is a very worthwhile endeavor for runners in a variety of
different situations. Hill training can be useful for both runners who regularly
compete in races of all different types of distances as well as recreational
runners who run for exercise and do not participate in organized races.
Competitive runners who participate in races will likely find hill training
gives them a competitive advantage over the competition. This advantage will be
particularly noticeable on courses which have a number of hills for the runners
to navigate throughout the race. Runners who have properly prepared for hills
should be able to traverse these hills with greater efficiency than runners who
have not done a sufficient amount of hill training in preparation for the race.
Runners who do not participate in organized races can also gain a great deal
from hill training in terms of increased strength. Regular hill training
these runners to build muscle and become stronger overall runners. This
article will provide a sample of hill training exercises for those who are first
beginning to incorporate hill work into their training regime.
First we will discuss technique for running on hills. Altering your form
somewhat on hills can help you to navigate the hill with greater efficiency. It
can also help the runner to improve his speed on the hills and complete the
hills without becoming too tired or exerting too much energy. Some of the
changes the runner should make to his form include shortening the stride,
running on the balls of the feet, leaning forward slightly and exaggerating the
arm motions while running. These form changes can help the runner to complete
the hill more easily. This running technique is not ideal for running on flat
land or for running down hills but is specifically designed to benefit runners
on an uphill climb.
Runners who are just beginning to incorporate hill work into their training
should start out by finding a short hill of approximately one quarter of a mile.
This hill should have a rather gradual slope instead of a steep slope. After
doing a short warm up jog the runner should start at the base of the hill and
attempt to run up the hill at a pace which the runner can maintain for the
duration of the hill. After the runner completes the hill once, he should either
walk or jog down the hill to recover from the uphill sprint. Once the runner
reaches the bottom of the hill, it is time to repeat the uphill sprint again.
You can repeat this sequence a number of times until you reach fatigue.
During the first couple of hill workouts, you may only be able to sprint up the
hill a handful of time. However, after a couple of hill training sessions, the
runner should be able to increase the number of repeats they can do on the
short, gradual hill. Once you feel comfortable with this hill, you can search
for a hill which is either longer or steeper than the initial hill. Alternately
you can also strive to increase your speed on each of the hill sprints.