Hill Training – A very demanding method to increase muscle power and strength! It is the training for running up hills.
It integrates several excellent running programs and is ideal for the athletes of football, basketball, cricket, rugby, and running, where high running speeds are most essential.
In hill training, the athlete makes use of the body weight as the resistance to move forward and as a result the driving muscles that provides power to the leg needs to work harder.
The method aims to provide the athlete with a good knee lift and movement in the ankle.
In hill training, the athlete aims to run hard, moving upwards with the toes, flexing the ankle, landing the foot on the hill with its front part and then dropping the heel below the toes level as the weight is applied.
The calf muscles of the foot elongate upwards and downwards and learn to contract very quickly. Thus, these muscles improve its strength and elasticity.
Moreover, they become more powerful and work at a higher rate. As the hill training involves high knee lift, the quads in the thigh that help in knee lift also improves its strength.
Hill training – Types of hills
Hill training can be done on any type of hill–short, medium, or long.
Short hill: To run up on this type of hill, it usually takes no more than half-a-minute and the energy source of the runner will be completely anaerobic. The inclination ranges between 5-15 degrees gradient. While running on this type of hills, the main focus of athlete should be on running method.
Medium hill: Running up on this type of hill usually takes about 30-90 seconds and the energy source is aerobic and anaerobic. This type of hill training is good for the middle distance runner, as the length of the hill is appropriate and that the hill unites the benefits of running up on the short hill.
As running up on this hill is pretty fast and competitive, it is good to prefer a longer step with high knee lift–running tall and keeping the hips pushed ahead with the back straight.
Long hill: This type of hill normally takes about 90-180 seconds to run up and the source of energy is basically aerobic, but in steeper areas of the hill the energy comes from anaerobic sources. Running up on this type of hills usually needs not as much power per step as on the short hills.
Hill training tips
- For a good start of hill training, warm-up on rolling hills for about ten minutes.
- While running on the hill, always run with a high knee lift, pump your arms strongly and energetically and slightly bend forward.
- Always keep head up and keep concentration only on your running style.
- Cool down and relax through jogging for about 10-15 minutes on each level.
- When performing hill training on a treadmill [Treadmill Exercise], for every change in height, run at eight percent incline for 90 seconds with revival jogs for 120 seconds.