Short hill sprints are an exercise which runners of any level can use to increase their performance and reduce their risk of injuries.
What: Short, quick, powerful sprints of 6 – 8 seconds up a fairly steep hill (6% – 8% gradient incline).
Why: Increase your maximal strength in running specific muscles. This specific training will increase your running efficiency and economy (meaning faster race times) and reduce your risk of injury (meaning less time off).
How: Run powerfully up the hill, bounding up with each step, leaning slightly forward, keeping your core tight and straight and using your arms to help power you up. Walk back down the hill to recover fully before starting the next one.
How many: Start with two to four repetitions and work your way up in progressive weeks adding one a week to a max of ten.
When: Perform short hill sprints at the end of an easy mileage run starting once a week and progressing to a max of twice a week.
Give these hill sprints a try after one of your easy runs this week. Start with a small number and work your way up. They’ll only take a couple of minutes to do and can lead to some big gains in your running. Enjoy!