Saturday, 5 January 2013

Hill Training

Hill Training (HT) is a specific type of interval training normally used by 5k’s athletes preparing for a steep incline/decline race. HT is described as repeated lengths of exercise on an undulating course followed by rest periods.

HT is resistance training where the athlete pushes against gravity as they run up a hill. It is also core training as the athlete will be twisting more than flat running, holding their upper body firm, and leaning forward slightly against gravity. Depending on the intensity of the sessions they will either work the anaerobic or aerobic energy systems.

The benefit of HT is that it causes the athlete to perform better during hilly races by simulating the race terrain. During HT the athlete’s body will adapt to cope with lactic build up, as well as increase its ability to deliver and use oxygen. The athlete will also build muscle strength and power increasing the athlete’s ability to run economically. HT reduces the risk of repetitive injuries associated with longer continuous running, and it gives typical running benefits such as weight loss.

A HT session would normally replace a repetition training session and the amount of reps can be anything from 3 to 30. However the training should not really be any longer than the 5k distance and steepness of the hills the athlete will be competing on during races. The HT can be run straight through or broken up into sets with a longer rest periods. The amount an athlete will need to use this type of session will vary depending on the gradients of the race they’re training for.

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