It’s a sure way to induce fear and dread into every athlete. It’s tough. It’s gruelling. And it makes you hungrier than ever! As tough as hill training is, it is one of the best things you can include into your training programme.
In 2015, a study was published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. This study had a group of runners perform six weeks of high-intensity uphill running intervals. The results were astonishing: their running economy improved and their 5km Time Trial times were 2 percent faster. 2 percent may not sound like a lot, but it is enough to take 30-40 seconds off your time. Now that sounds like a lot more, yes?
Here are some further benefits of hill training:
- Builds upper body strength. Pushing uphill forces you to pump your arms harder which develops strength as well as efficient arm carriage.
- Prevents injury. The strength you develop on the hills strengthens your leg muscles and tendons, which reduces your risk of developing shin splints as it alleviates stress placed on your shins.
- Help increase your endurance. By gradually increasing the inclines on your runs every few weeks, you’ll be surprised how even the steepest hills become no match for your swift feet.
- Helps increase your speed. The muscle and tendon strength you develop helps build your speed.
Are you convinced yet? Incorporate hill training into you running strategy slowly, starting with lower inclines and gradually over a number of weeks increasing the incline.
If you need any assistance on how to include hill training into your programme, give us a call. We will make sure that you do it properly and under guidance.