All distance runners will gain muscle strength, stronger hearts and better knee lift with hill repeats. 31 min 10 K runner shows you how to bring this muscle strengthener into your running schedule.

Develop the neurological pathways needed for fast running with hill training. Middle and long distance runners need strength and legspeed from hill repeats. 5k, 10k, half marathon or the marathon, all of us should be doing some form of resistance training--running hills is a simple form of resistance training.

Sample Chapter from Running Dialogue...Chapter Five, Long Reps at Threshold Pace

Hill Running and Training Uses

We all need strength to run fast. Can be done as a group--slower runners can do a shorter section of the hill, but jog or walk down with the group. Great for maximum heartrate test. Chance to train at 3k or 2 mile intensity if you wish: To train at 100 to 110 percent VO2 max. Less pounding...provided you make the effort to land softly. Gets you up on your toes--well, the forefoot, anyway. Excellent return for your training time.

How steep should the hill be? How long should the reps be?

A marathon runner might use a 3 percent grade, running long hill reps Half marathon--600-800 meters at 4 percent 10k--try 60-75 second hills at 5-6 percent grade 5k and below will probably do 30-45 seconds up a steeper grade. But all runners should do a variety. Use two or three hills.

First a few links, then three sample pages from David Holt's book Running Dialogue...a discussion between a coach and his athlete (David) as he goes through the training techniques of distance running.


Bicycle cross training for leg strength and injury prevention
Weight training for runners and others...the leg press
VO2 maximum prediction from 15 minute time trial
Links to other distance training, injury and diet
I covered anaerobic threshold on the half marathon page; the long run on the 20 mile race page; short (VO2 max) intervals on the 10 k page; long intervals on the 8k page; fartlek, stretching and downhills for economy and legspeed also have their page. See base of this page or the links above.

Hill Training: Strength Training with hill repeats for knee lift at 5k to marathon

	“You already cope with hills within training runs, so the first
type of resistance training is to augment the hilly circuit once a fortnight
with hill repetitions. Find a hill which is reasonably steep, but still
runable...three to four degrees is good, but steeper may give you
faster rewards. You will need 100 to 400 meters of hill for these ses¬
sions. 
	“For this session, ignore the efficient way of running hills.
Hill reps require a different action...an exaggerated running action;
though inefficient in a race, it’s perfect for our present purposes. Use
a section of about 100 meters for your first session.
	“After a normal warmup, you can start the first of about ten
repetitions. Run up the hill with a high knee lift and sprinters type
arm action. The legs should not be going too fast...the emphasis is on
lifting the knees higher than in normal runs...but landing softly. Land
closer to your toes than the heel of the foot...midfoot is ideal. You
will run more like a sprinter in these sessions than at any other time. 
	“On alternate reps, shorten and quicken the stride. One rep for
strength and speed; one rep for speed and strength.
	“Pick a focal point close to the top of the hill, much further
than your usual 25 meters ahead. This helps to prevent you leaning for¬
ward. You need to be perpendicular to the surface in hill repeats.
	“Walk down the hill for recovery and repeat the run. When you
feel tired, or cannot fully recover in the rest period, stop. This be¬
comes the target number for future sessions.
	“Hold back on the first session. This type of training puts extra
stress on the Achilles tendon and calf muscles. The quadriceps may
also ache a little after, as may the back...gentle stretching should
clear these aches. 
	“The second time you do hills, try about eight repetitions of 200
meters. The third time, try five at up to 400 meters.

With the 400s, finish the rep just over the top of the
hill--practice accelerating as the gradient decreases. 
You can also practice this on your long or tempo runs when you’re
feeling fresh...pick the pace up by ten seconds a mile for 20 strides
before settling back to your regular speed.
	“As you get used to running hill repetitions, you can increase
the quantity of reps and the speed. Always aim to run hills faster than
in a race...using the rather unusual running actions described above. 
	“The number of repetitions is up to you, David, but the overall
effort involved should be no harder than a session of long repetitions
would be. You may find 25 of the short section of hill is about right;
10 or 12 of the long section may be its equivalent. These are only
targets for the long term. For now, build the session up until it lasts
thirty minutes--including the recovery sections. Aim to do 10 minutes
of reps.
	“As you get fitter, the recovery can become a jog...thus
reducing the resting percentage. But land gently on the way down.
	“A fun way for you to do hills is to split it into sections. 
Stride up the first section of say 150 meters--jog or walk up for thirty 
to sixty seconds--then run the second section. 
You will have a longer recovery going back to the start to repeat
the reps in pairs or triples.
You might run six sets of two efforts in a session.
	“When you can handle hills well in training, they will seldom
be a problem in races.
In a race or tempo run, always run them with economy
...using a low knee lift and short but fairly rapid stride. Tuck
in behind someone, get ‘pulled’ up the hill, then find that other gear
you’ve been practicing as you accelerate over the top. 
	“Hills will improve your racing speed by building strength in the
quads, hamstrings, buttocks, calves and back. It will also correct
your form--you can’t run hills well with bad form. Hills increase your
anaerobic efficiency. Bigger quads result in fewer knee injuries. Hill
reps cause few injuries...there is much less shock per stride.”
	“Enjoy the hill. Always enjoy the hill. Don’t fight it...work
with it.
	“Doing a lot of distance running can decrease your stride 
length. Even though you will be doing repetitions, 200s etc. the hills will 
open your stride. Just remember to exaggerate the knee lift and the arm
swing, while pushing off with the toes and calf muscles. 

Hills for strength.
Must be run properly with an exaggerated knee lift for the best ef¬
fect.
Types of hill: short, medium and long. Seek a variety, otherwise you
become brilliant at one hill, but rarely see “your” hill in a race. 
	*	 Split the hill into sections for short recovery sessions.
	*	 Mud and sand hills for added resistance and heavy shoes.
	*	 Accelerate over the top to practice race situation.
	*	 Technique for hills in a race--relax... then accelerate. 
Hills increase muscle elasticity and the range of motion at the foot
and ankle--vital to you running faster.

Run on the softest surface you can find--it reduces the long term
joint wear and tear; reduces bone and muscle injuries in the short to
medium term.
The least friendly surfaces are concrete, to asphalt, to dirt, to grass,
to sand, in that order.


Hill reps on the treadmill.
Sand running
Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at Amazon.com

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)


David Holt's second running book: 10K & 5K Running, Training and Racing.
Buy 10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing Today! ">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing, 180 pages, $17.95, by David Holt (plus 3,000 meters, 8K, 12K and 10 mile training advice and schedules for 20-100 miles per week) at Amazon.com
10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing: The Running Pyramid, at Barnesandnoble.com
Bicycle cross training for leg strength and injury prevention
Weight training for runners and others...the leg press
Knee injuries to distance runners
Running injury treatments
Running injury prevention
Stretching and Flexibility for distance running
Running nutrition and diet
VO2 maximum prediction from 15 minute time trial
Links to other distance training, injury and diet
8k or 5 mile race training...long reps at VO2max
Running economy from downhill training practice
5k training and racing...the first of five pages for the 5k runner
10k training...mileage and strength and access to four other parts of 10k training
Half marathon training...first element...mileage and hills for strength
Sarcomere--muscle contraction unit
Long runs for middle and long distance racing--uses prep for 30k or 20 mile race as example
Marathon training and racing
Marathon Training phase one...hills / resistance training
10k training...hills on the treadmill
Links to running stuff

E-MAIL ORDER TO DAVID HOLT
Running Dialogue">Running Dialogue at barnesandnoble.com
Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at Amazon.com

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)


David Holt's second running book: 10K & 5K Running, Training and Racing.
Buy 10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing Today! ">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing, 180 pages, $17.95, by David Holt (plus 3,000 meters, 8K, 12K and 10 mile training advice and schedules for 20-100 miles per week) at Amazon.com
10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing: The Running Pyramid, at Barnesandnoble.com
Copyright David Holt 2,000 Any part, or all of this training material may be quoted or reviewed...provided you acknowledge the source...Running Dialogue and other books by David Holt, this web page or www.runningbook.com, and contact me at holtrun@sprynet.com to let me know the material is being used or reviewed.