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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Hill training

Is Hill Training Only Beneficial to Runners?

No. Hill training is ideal for athletes who depend on high running speeds.
Benefits of Hill Training?
The most common benefits of hill training are: strengthen hamstrings, calves, glutes, hip flexors and achilles tendons. Hill running uses more upper-body muscles than flat running.
Hill Training
  • helps develop power and muscle elasticity
  • improves stride frequency and length
  • promotes strength endurance
  • develops maximum speed and strength
How Does Hill Training Strengthen Muscles?
When compared to runing on flat surfaces, hill running forces the some muscles to contract more quickly and generate work at a higher rate. When the muscles contract more quickly and work at a higher rate, they become more powerful. While hill training, the muscles can develop two to three times as many muscle fibers than running on flat surfaces.
Reduce the Possibility of Injury while Hill Training
To reduce the possibility of injury during hill training, the athlete should stretch before running, stay properly hydrated, and hill train after the athlete has developed a solid base of strength and endurance.                                      

Short hills

A short hill is one which takes no more that 30 seconds to run up and has an inclination between 5 and 15 degrees gradient. The athlete's energy source on short hills is entirely anaerobic. The athlete should focus on a running technique which has vigorous arm drive and high knee lift, with the hips kept high, so that they are 'running tall', not leaning forwards, or if running forward the aim is power.
The session is anaerobic so the recovery time can be long, a walk back down the hill, or a slow jog of 60 to 90 seconds. The total volume will depend on the fitness of the athlete and the reason for doing it. A sprinter looking for strength might do 10 repetitions of 15 second duration up a steep slope with a long recovery where as a distance runner who is trying to improve sprinting speed might do 30 repetitions of 15 seconds duration.
Short hills of 5 to 10 second duration will help improve the Adenosine Triphosphate and Phosphate-creatine (ATP+PC) energy system and hills of 15 to 30 second duration will help develop the ATP+PC+muscle glycogen energy system.

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