Hill Sprints For Speed & Conditioning
If you're looking to increase your speed and repeat effort ability then look no further than this powerful method. The benefits of running hills are endless:
Improve acceleration power.
Builds strength in the muscles specific to acceleration - quads, calves, glutes, hamstrings.
Improves acceleration mechanics by improving body angles specific to acceleration - steep forward lean, positive shin angles.
When choosing a hill it's important to choose one that isn't too steep. A hill that has a gradual incline is perfect or one that gets you in the correct body position to maintain a forward lean is perfect.
Rest periods are crucial when programming these sessions. If you're after pure speed then you want to complete 4-10 sprints of about 7 sec with full recovery, 1-2min. This ensures you can maintain high output on each rep. If you find yourself slowing down then you need more recovery between reps or the session should be stopped. To improve your repeat effort ability then you want to increase the length of each rep to about 12sec with incomplete rest. Volume will also increase where you may add in an additional 2-3 sets.
Here are some variations you can add in your training this off-season and early pre-season.