Your third type of hill running is to:
Your short hill reps are likely to be at 5 kilometer race intensity because youíre running with similar form to a sprinter. Long reps at 15K pace also give you excellent results. Anaerobic threshold pace is discussed at length in Week Seven. You can gain huge endurance rewards by running one hill session out of every four up a long gentle grade. Running half a mile to a mile, or 800 meters to 1,500 meters is a reasonable range. Work on, or think about the elements of form as you run up the 2-4 percent grade. Mud or other harsh (that is a soft) surface is preferred. Donít be squeamish about adjusting your style as you negotiate sections with uneven footing--itís easier to adapt stride length to meet your needs at 15K pace than at 5K intensity. Resistance must increase as you get fitter. The second or third time through this resistance training, find steeper hills, deeper mud or sand, or run longer reps.
When youíve run 20 or more hill sessions, you can run at 2 mile race pace intensity for your short hill repeats. For your first year or two of serious training though, 5K effort is intensive enough.
When you reach your flexibility limits, you can add Bounding. Bounding is a great strength session. Bring it in a few strides at a time. When running on a soft surface or up a hill, bound forward with an exaggerated high knee-lift, and a fast running action. Bounce off the toes forcefully as you power your body up and forward--much higher and further than usual--then land softly. Do 20-30 meters at a time with a walk down or jog back recovery. If you have wide stairs or steps available, do double leg jumps up them. Hopping is an effective variation on bounding, and allows you to isolate each leg. Hop or jump up a grassy slope, in sand, or through mud. Land softly. Sand is the preferred surface for all these exercises because your legs struggle to propel you forward, and your arms work to maintain your balance--you get a whole body workout. You also get a soft landing. Stay tall and relaxed. Youíll develop your hip flexors, calves and quadriceps. These stronger muscles will increase your stride, speed, and decrease your risk of injury. Include a few minutes of skipping rope for the calves, but limit these plyometrics. You want to build power to enhance your endurance--you get fast by being strong--yet you have to avoid the bulk of a sprinter.
Competent at running hill repeats? Then youíre ready for threshold pace running. Not proficient at hill repeats, yet there is more than six weeks to the big 10K race? Stay with hill training until week fifteen of 20 if you need to. Not mastered hill running with six weeks left till race day? Move to threshold pace anyway. You will master hills next time through this training.
Not ready for threshold running? Rotate short, medium and long hill repeats each week until you are proficient at hill running, or you reach week fifteen. Then go to week seven training, which will be the fifteenth week of training for most beginner runners.
Day one: 10-12 mile easy pace run. Edge up to 70 percent of maximum heartrate. Day three: easy 6 mile run Day four: one to two miles of hill running, plus warm-up and cooldown gives you 7 miles Day six: easy 7 mile run Days two, five and seven: rest Total mileage is 30-32
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