May is an usual time in the running world. For many of us it’s race season with our goal events either just passed or about to take place. That means being in a state of either tapering for or recovering from a race and which requires less overall volume and intensity. For others, it’s simply a time to get outdoors, get fit and have some fun with their exercise routine. Enter this week’s Wednesday workout: Hill sprints!
Hill sprints are a fun and effective, albeit extremely tough, way of adding a physical and mental boost to you running routine while also safely avoiding injury.
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Hill sprints should be short, between 10 and 30 seconds, and are meant to be done at a relatively fast pace. To do them, find a relatively steep hill which could be road, trail or just some grass in a park. Start at the bottom and run/sprint straight up the hill at a very fast pace for as long or as far as you choose. Yes, you will likely slow down but try to go the full distance or time.
You should be breathing hard and your heart rate will be greatly elevated by the time you stop. Gently walk or jog back to bottom and do another repeat. Aim to do between 5 and 10 hills or no more than 5 minutes of hard running in total.
These will feel incredibly tough. You will likely want to stop/quit. Don’t! Know that this type of effort is providing a massive boost to your speed, strength, running form, mental toughness and overall fitness. It’s one of the best ways to get fast gains for the lowest investment of time. Do this type of workout once or twice a week and gradually aim to add a few reps each week. We guarantee the effort will be worth it.