If you are training for distance races, it is quite important to incorporate hill running into your workout schedule. Regardless of whether your race is on flat or hilly terrain, doing hill running will no doubt, benefit to you as a runner.
As the name suggests, these are short workouts that require the runner to dash up a hill at maximum effort, for 10 to 15 seconds. After doing this, you would then stop and rest for two to three seconds – before repeating the sprinting intervals again until you are exhausted.
Doing such workouts will make the heart pump blood more efficiently to the rest of the body and eventually, you will be able to run at a much faster pace with minimum effort during races.
This type of hill running is similar to doing strides and drills to improve pacing and stamina – rather than to improve your overall fitness.
Long Hill Repeats
This is the most common type of hill running. Typically you would do 10×90-second hill workouts at a very fast speed and then slowly jog down the hill as a form of recovery. After this, take a one-minute break and then repeat this workout 10 times.
These hill workouts will help to increase your VO2-max and overall muscle strength so it will improve your speed if the race is going to be on mainly flat terrain.
However, if your race is going to be on hilly ground, then your speed is not likely to improve because hilly races usually consist of very long and gradual hills, rather than the smaller ones, where you can just burst upwards.
Rolling Hill Workouts
If you are going to run on a very hilly course during the race, this one is definitely the workout for you. This is because doing rolling hill workouts help to stimulate your muscles and expose them to what you are going to experience on the day of the race itself. It helps you to not only run up the hill more efficiently, but also to maintain your pace throughout your run.
The trick to hill running is to maintain your pace throughout – not to sprint up the hill, only to find that you have no more energy or stamina to last the distance. Many runners tend to make the mistake of sprinting up a slope, so by training on rolling hills, you will be able to practise your pacing properly on such terrains.
Some of Singapore’s more hilly areas include the Singapore Pierce Reservoir (Upper Thompson Road side) and the Bukit Timah hills. (If you are having trouble finding such hilly areas where you do training, remember that you can always use the treadmill for hill running).
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