Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Prev Next
HILL TRAINING - by BarryP
Quote | Reply
HILL TRAINING

Hello all. Several months ago I posted a little article the included the following statements:

From: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ring=BarryP;#1038879

************************************************
THE ELEMENTS:

1) Lots and Lots of Running

2) Long Runs

3) Tempo Runs (@ LT pace)

4) V02max Intervals (@ 12-15 minute race pace)

5) Repetitions (@ 2-5 minute race pace)

6) Hills

7) Plyometrics, technique drills

8) Striders

9) Core strengthening exercises, injury prevention exercises, stretching, etc.


Most of these have been discussed already and most people do most of these all ready. Personally I think when evaluating your own running program, instead of looking forward, you should first look back. Odds are, you may make the biggest gains by incorporating the element that has been missing from your program. Each of these training elements will stimulate specific adaptations to occur. The largest improvements typically occur in the early stages of this training.

***********************************************

Well, at that moment I had realized that I hadn’t done a serious hill focus in over 10 years!! (much of that due to just simply taking time off from the sport all together).

So, I had wanted to talk about this as some people may not really know how one typically incorporates hill training into a program.

For starters, I *have* read of many runners who made some breakthroughs in their racing after incorporating hill training into their program. However, I would also like to add that I’ve never really seen anywhere where it was considered a high priority. Keep in mind that, for most of you, your biggest gains will still be made by 1) being consistent, 2) running a relatively high volume, 3) running at LT 8-10 months out of the year (for HIM and less) and 4) incorporating V02max intervals for periods of 6-12 weeks one to three times a year (for HIM and less). Once you have nailed those down, hills may be the next element to add into your program.

WHAT:

I’m not talking about simply doing hilly runs occasionally. I’m talking about a 15 – 40 minute workout where you are running fast up a hill, over and over again.

HOW:

There are many ways to run a hill workout. I suggest a mix of many different types. Eventually you will learn what YOU respond best to. Hills can be anywhere from 20 seconds to 4 minutes long. The grades can vary from a few % to very, very steep. When you run the hill, focus on driving the arms and lifting your knees. You want to feel very powerful has you run up. As the hill gets steeper, you’ll want to move more and more toward your toes. Focus on form on every one.

Some hills you can focus on running up fast and letting your natural stride carry you up.
Some you will want to exaggerate the knee lift.
Some you will want to take extra long, bounding strides (on steeper hills)
Some you will want to leap as high as you can on each stride (steeper hills)

An example of a hill workout that I did back in college looks like this (short, steep, grassy hill):

Up fast, jog down on more gradual slope
Up with high knees, down
Up fast, down
Up with long strides, down
Up fast, down
Up with springy vertical strides, down

Repeat.

We might do that one week and then simply 5 x 3 minute hills the next.

WHY:

I’d be interested if anyone can present some research, but according to Lydiard and Galloway, the theory is that it is a form of sport specific plyometric exercise that helps strengthen the legs, lengthens the strides, and prepares the body for harder running to come…….it also helps you run up hills, which you sometimes have to do in a race.

WHEN:

Typically in the early season. Triathletes, however, tend to have excessively long seasons (IMO). This may be something you want to do before the racing begins but then revisit again in the middle of the summer to prepare for a strong early fall race. In my typical plans I like to see this done about 4 months before the A race, though this can vary.

HOW LONG:

3-6 weeks. Though several “hilly” runs should be done after this point to keep from losing too much of your gains.

HOW OFTEN:

At least once a year, though it doesn’t *need* to be done before every season. A lot of college teams will run hills in August and September to prepare for cross country and then let the rest if the season of running over hilly terrain carry them through the year.

Ideally you’d likely want to get at least 5-6 weeks of good focused hill training in a year, IMO.

CAN I MIX THIS WITH ANOTHER TYPE OF WORKOUT:

Yes and no….but mostly no. If you run up and down the same hill, you really can’t incorporate this into a V02max or LT session because the recoveries are too great. Running up a hill that takes 3 minutes will take 4 ½ minutes to come back down, which is too much rest for a good V02max session and WAY too much rest for an LT session.

However, if you were to find a good, hilly cross country course or a loop that had a steep hill on one side and a not so steep decline, you could run your intervals or tempo runs on courses like this, but keep in mind that you will be sacrificing some of the benefits of the hill workouts as you won’t be as rested when you get to the hill. This wouldn’t be a bad workout, but take it for what it is.

You can also do this at the end of a workout. This is especially beneficial for triathletes who have a limited number of workout sessions. There’s nothing wrong with doing a 30 minute tempo run and then 15 minutes of hills.

HOW DOES IT FIT INTO THE WHOLE PLAN?


Typically I like the following cookie cutter formula:

Base, Tempo, hills or rep training (and tempo), v02max (and tempo) à A race, repeat

However, you can also move hills BEFORE rep training if you wish to do both. A lot will depend on what you respond to better and what kind of races you have coming up.

For the type of person who simply refuses to periodize his training, may I suggest doing these in place of your track session every two or three weeks OR tacking them onto the end of your tempo run.

Hope this helps. Feel free to discuss/contribute/challenge at will.


ALSO SEE:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ring=BarryP;#1036945

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ring=BarryP;#1020449

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ring=BarryP;#1020644

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ring=BarryP;#1030125


Runtraining14

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Last edited by: BarryP: Dec 26, 07 9:16
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Hey Barry,

My understanding of this from the biomechanists I've worked with is that hill reps are actually LESS plyometric than running on the flat because you don't 'fall' as far with each stride, and so store less gravitational impact energy for recoil. Instead the muscles must do more work to drive the body (though the forces are still small relative to real strength training). Quite what effect this would have in training terms I'm not sure - perhaps something akin in some ways to a reps session (improving economy), since it seems unlikely as you say to be long enough to produce true aerobic efficiency benefits.


Stuff I like:
PBscience Triathlon Coaching and Lab Testing
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAING - by BarryP [fade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
hill reps are actually LESS plyometric
____________________________

Thanks for the clarification. That seems to make sense. "plyometric" was my word, not Lydiard's or Galloway's, so the blame lies with me.

So, sport specific strenght training then?? Whatever it is, like I said, many seem to get good results.

Yes, I think it IS similar to a rep session. That's why I believe it can be used in place of it in many situations.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I've always run well when I'm running alot of hills (both when I was a sprinter and now as a distance runner), but I just wanted to mention that I believe Lydiard's hills were primarily bounding for height (which turns it into more of a plyo workout) focusing on ankle flexibility and strength and full extension of the leg (watch middle distance runners who are efficient at speed and you'll see that the back leg is almost fully extended during their strides).

Nice synopsis though :)

-Dave
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Hill running is great, but outdoors:
IMO #1 Tempo running - timed, #2 Long runs - timed, #3 everything else including intervals unless you are a highschool or college track runner or have excess time on your hands.
The treadmill is a great way to get hill training in. Increase by 1% per month from 4%. Anything less is really not much of a hill.
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Some good stuff there Barry. I have been focussing on hills this fall/winter and have a few questions for you:

Is it advisable to lengthen the stride when descending on a even surface trail/road to take advantage of gravity (i.e. let the hill carry you)?

Do you see more knee injuries with running hills on pavement? I find my knees and lower back don't like running hills on pavement and wonder if it is related to issue above or just the added stress the joints must absorb when running downhill. I do try to run off-road but it is not really possible during my lunch time runs at work which is very hilly but lacks trails.

Thanks!

Mike
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAING - by BarryP [ace1317] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
but I just wanted to mention that I believe Lydiard's hills were primarily bounding for height .........Nice synopsis though :)
_________________

Thanks for the addition and thanks for the compliment = )

I need to go back and read through Lydiards stuff.......but right now I'm engrossed in a really good book about the divine proportion. Though, if you want to learn more, might I suggest Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land (seriously, it's good!).

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
There is a trail near my house that is essentially 6 miles uphill, from climbing stairs steep to not so steep. Where would running up/down a trail like that fit into your ideas?
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAING - by BarryP [ace1317] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Indeed, if I recall my Lydiard correctly, Lydiard's hills were actually quite complex beasts run in an up down continuity as follows (from memory):

1) run easy/steady to base of 2-min not-too-steep hill.
2) bound for height strides up hill.
3) smoothly into hard running for 1min at the top of the hill.
4) turn and run easy back to the start of the hill.
5) 'let go' and run down the hill fast but smooth.
6) continue to run 1 min off the base of the hill on the flat.
7) turn and jog back to the base of the hill.


Stuff I like:
PBscience Triathlon Coaching and Lab Testing
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [TriMike] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Depending on the steepness of the descents, the down hill CAN be a killer on the joints. I experienced this myself over Christmas while I was running in the south hills of Pittsburg. They were pretty steep and no matter what I did, the down hills killed me.

Typicaly your best bet is to find a more gradual down hill. In high school we had a nice hill next to a stair case that had a long, snakey wheel chair ramp. We used that to run down.

Re: Lengthening the stride - NO! Your stride will probably lengthen on it's own but what you want to focus on is a higher cadence. Pick the heals up and let your feet turn into wheels and fly down the hill at 220 steps a minute. However, this will tire you out. Often times during a training run I will ease my way down a hill and only speed up at the bottom.

It all depends on th eperson. I had a college friend who was a much better XC runner than he was at track primarily becasue he was so good on hills. He was a short, powerful little guy. We ran a half marathon together and came to a long, steep down hill. He took off and it took me 2 miles to catch back up to him.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Barry, do you run on the trails by valley greeen at all?
I don't know how well they fit your criteria, but they're great running, at least for me. Some are more technical than others, but there's a lot of ups and downs once you get off of forbidden drive.

for me, when running hills on hard surfaces, the issue is the downhills. they kill me.

-charles
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [jamdavswim] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
That would be a great place to do a tempo run and get the benefit of running on hills as well.

You can also just motor up mile portion of that hill, stop and rest, and then repeat until you reach the top. The changing grade will give you good variations. You'll likely lift your knees higher for the steeper portions.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
running downhill on pavement is something I do quite a lot, too. I find that if I maintain a good turnover and concentrate on staying loose I can minimise most of the impact stuff. I let my Heart Rate drop.

and of course downhill running is great conditioning IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT!


Stuff I like:
PBscience Triathlon Coaching and Lab Testing
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [Bob Loblaw] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I've never run them, but I did finaly hike there once this year...although I think we were near Bells Mill rd...a little further up I think. I've been doing my hill running at Valley Forge with a running group that was meeting up there on Wed and Sat. I've also done them in Ridley with Greg Watson....and got my ass kicked!

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [fade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
and of course downhill running is great conditioning IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT!
___________

It's supposed to be good for increasing turnover/cadence. We did it in high school but on a very short, gradual grassy down hill.

My college coach had us do it once on our cross country course. We did a very intense workout. 2/3 of the team sat in the locker room with bags of ice on various joints. Our coach asked what we thought of the workout and we told him if he ever did it again he may not have a team to coach anymore.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
something that you might want to add as an additional side ebnifit to doing hill repeats, one problem that I see with a lot of runners, mostly slower runners and/or runners relatively new to run training is that their center of gravity is off, they are running more behind their footstrike and have a slow turn over. Hill repeats I believe help a runner to get used to moving their center of gravity forward. Have you ever tried to run hill repeats and land on your heels while going up, very hard to do. WHile doing hill repeats we tend to shorten our stride also and get a quicker turnover. While I think the biggest gains from hill repeats are the combination of muscular strength gains in a sport specific way and physiological gains, these side benifits are also very important gains for most runners.

Mike Plumb, TriPower MultiSports
Professional Running, Cycling and Multisport Coaching
http://www.tripower.org
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [Mike Plumb] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
As usual Mike, thanks for the contribution. I think you do make some very good points.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Barry (or anyone else), any thoughts on distance runners ending some easier runs/workouts with very hard alactic hill sprints? I know that some training groups (name escapes me, Brad Hudson maybe?) used to do these a couple times a week for neuromuscular fascilitation/fiber recruitment, but I've never tried them when training as a distance runner myself. Anyone else given these a shot?

(OT, but I'll ask anyway: Barry, is e the divine proportion, or are we talking about a difference constant?)

-Dave
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAING - by BarryP [ace1317] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
(1 + 5^(.5))/2 = 1.618.

If you make a rectangle that is 1 x 1.618 and divide a square in side of it, you get a 1 x 1 sqare and a 1 x 0.618 rectangle which is proportionaly the same as the original rectangle ( 1/0.618 = 1.618). It is considered to be the most pleasing rectangle to look at. This proportion is seen throughout nature and was used in a lot of old artchitecture.


ON TOPIC - I've known people to do the same. Every individual will have to figure out how they best work into their schedule. Like I said before, what's important is that you take a period when you focus on them for 15-40 minutes and do it on a somewhat regular basis. I'd rather see someone spend 4-6 weeks in th eeraly season doing them every week pretty hard, but to throw them in at the end of an easy run should accomplish a similar goal as long as it is significant enough to get results (ie....just sprinting up the last hill for 30 seconds isn't going to cut it).

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Good info. I would add that before integrating hill workouts--of any type--into your training program that you make sure you have stretched out your hip extensors (glutes) so that they are nice and loose. I don't mean static, cold stretching right before your workout, but more of an ongoing, keep em loose approach. Basically, if you plan on doing hill work you don't want to start your build-up with excessviely tight buns since they will be the primary mover when you hit the hills. So start gradually, you will know if your tight after your first workout--which should be realtively easy. As always, you should stretch them after a good warm-up and monitor things during the workout. Running hills for the uninitiated is akin to starting a new sport or returning to an old one after a long layoff--your body is going to hurt since different muscles are engaged. In hill running its your ass, so you better watch it!! : )

"I really wish you would post more often. You always have some good stuff to say. I copied it below just in case someone missed it." BarryP to Chainpin on 10/21/06

Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Keep in mind that, for most of you, your biggest gains will still be made by 1) being consistent, 2) running a relatively high volume, 3) running at LT 8-10 months out of the year (for HIM and less) and 4) incorporating V02max intervals for periods of 6-12 weeks one to three times a year (for HIM and less). Once you have nailed those down, hills may be the next element to add into your program.][quote]

This is what is what i am workong on 1-4
I think at 54.9 years old , strength is my run limiter.
so i am running 6 days a week 5 times 5.5 miles one longer@8
I want to build the long to 15
i hope running more often will help with strength.
my weight is a little high 5' 10" 180lbs.It is droping I hope to 168 or so.
I don't know how much less weight will help but it can't hurt my run or bike. Hills would be good you think ??

Thom
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [cheyou] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I don't know much about older runners, but I do know that they say that once you hit your 50s that strength starts to go. So I would imagine that a regular session one a week may have some good benefits for you. Just be extra careful on the down hills.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
That's also the positive solution to the quadratic equation x**2 = x + 1. Hence the Fibonacci connection.

I like your exposition, although I'm not sure that I agree that anything less than 4% doesn't count as a hill. If that were the case, there wouldn't be a sequence of four Newton hills at Boston, but only two hills, each preceded by a more minor rise. (Recently I calculated the approximate slopes in order to develop a rough treadmill simulation. In doing so, I also added 1% to each slope as an adjustment for the treadmill environment.)

-----
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
Which is probably why I was registering 59.67mi as I rolled into T2.

Last edited by: Rob C in FL: Jan 12, 07 12:23
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAING - by BarryP [Rob C in FL] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I like your exposition, although I'm not sure that I agree that anything less than 4% doesn't count as a hill.
____________________

Thanks.....and I didn't write the 4% part. That was someone's reply. I personaly don't get bogged down woth the numbers (despite being a numbers guy). A hill is a hill if it feels like one.

Check out the links at the bottom of the post if you haven't already.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Quote Reply
Re: HILL TRAINING - by BarryP [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
As always, Barry, nice post. For those who are interested in learning some of what Lydiard had to say about hills (and many other topics), check out this site:
http://lydiardfoundation.org/training.html

Dan
Quote Reply

Prev Next