Your second hill session will be longer repeats. Run 5 efforts of 200-300 meters if you are new to hill repeats. Again, use 5K race pace as your intensity level. You should be nowhere close to collapse at the top of each rep. Runners who have been here before will run up to 10 minutes of up hill training...10-15 reps depending on the distance chosen. Running six reps of 60 seconds, plus six of 45 seconds gives a nice session.
Hill Training Will: Improve your racing speed by building strength in the quads, hamstrings, buttocks, calves and back. Correct your form--you canít run hills well with bad form--those arm movements are good for you. Increase your anaerobic efficiency. Strengthen your quads, resulting in fewer knee injuries. Hill reps cause few injuries...there is much less shock per stride. Open your stride--despite running fartlek, most of your running decreased your stride length. Just remember to exaggerate the knee lift and the arm swing, while pushing off with your toes and calf muscles. Hills increase muscle elasticity and the range of motion at the foot and ankle--vital for faster running
Increasing the resistance is part of the overload principle--exercise to a modest degree of fatigue, but not to exhaustion. Rest to recover while the body adapts. Then train harder next time. Run hills and other training on the softest surface you can find--it reduces the long term joint wear and tear; it reduces bone and muscle injuries. Running is about longevity, not a one event or race program, so run on soft surfaces for a lifetime of recreation. Dirt, grass and sand, are better than concrete and asphalt. Seek out mud, snow and grass with a softened base. Top coaches recommend these soft surfaces which make you work harder for the same speed because: The surface gives...you work harder at push-off. You have to lift your feet higher to avoid tripping. Wet or muddy shoes act like ankle weights. Cross-country racing is discussed in week 15.
Bridges, multi-floor garages (after most of the vehicles have left) and stairs are useful. See week six for treadmill running.
Grass, dirt trails, and beaches without slope, are perfect places to run. Theyíre soft and uneven, forcing muscles and tendons to work harder than on a flat surface for the same speed. You become stronger by stressing your muscles.
Maintain High Mileage. You still need to run mileage of course. The long run and total mileage are unchanged during hill running. You will be getting fitter and stronger because a few of those miles are harder, more productive miles. If you entered hill training for the first time last week, run at least six sessions of hills in this build-up phase--then retain hills once every 10-14 days while whipping through Phase Three-Five. . Be patient with hill running. You are stimulating an increase in the size of your muscle fibers and their ability to contract rapidly, and with short recoveries between each contraction. You are creating strength in your thigh, buttocks, and lower leg muscles: This strength and flexibility determines your stride length, which determines your speed.
Include weight training wisely. Do many reps; use modest amounts of weight--about 60 percent of the maximum which you can lift. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends: At least eight separate exercises for different muscle groups. Two or more sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise. Lifting at least twice a week. Breathe in a normal way. Chances are that you will breathe out on the exertion phase of your lift; most people breathe in when letting the weight return to its start position. Do what is natural for you, but donít hold your breath. Use free weights to bring your balancing muscles into play, but use good lifting technique. Machines do allow you to isolate a particular muscle. Leg extensions, hamstring curls and the leg press cover your upper leg muscles. Donít forget the calf raise machine. Do tricep and bicep curls for the arms, and pull-downs for your pecs. Sit-ups or crunches help your posture and your running.
Fit the weight training in before or after running, but generally not on your hill reps day. Or do weight training on your rest days. Doing one set of weights gives you 75 percent of the benefits from three sets. All of you should all be able to find time for at least one set prior to a six mile run.
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