Some people love it, and some hate it, but running uphill is very important for good training. It develops resistance, speed and muscular power. In particular, uphill repetitions are very useful.
Whether you run short distances, half-distance or marathons, it is always fundamental to include hill repeats in your training program, whether they are short or long. Before explaining the subject’s practical aspects, let’s take a look at what running uphill is for.
With uphill repetitions, you train first of all your specific strength to make strong and powerful muscles of the lower limbs.
Not only that. Running uphill also improves the heart’s ability to pump blood to the muscles, with undeniable advantages in physical efficiency. Repeated uphill runs are also important on a mental level. Especially the climbs of 1 km accustom you to know and live with fatigue without being intimidated.
The difference between running uphill and running on the flat
Running uphill must necessarily be managed differently than running on the flat. Breathing must be engaged throughout the test, and you must plan to complete each repeat. Many runners ask the difference in time between running a flat run and an uphill run.
The advice is to run at 90% of your potential, which corresponds to an 8 – 8.5 on the Borg scale, ranging from 1 to 10. The time taken to complete each repeat depends on the gradient of the climb. And this concept is valid for any ascent distance that we are going to analyze. Note that, if you can’t run outdoors uphill, you can always opt for a treadmill, adjusting its inclination.
The correct technique for running uphill
Many runners are convinced that the best way to tackle uphill repeats is to run on the forefeet. The running action becomes much more effective trying to bring the centre of gravity forward, the shoulders straight, the eyes straight, leaning as much surface as possible about the hill’s slope.
The greater the percentage of the mountain slope, the lower the surface of the foot that contributes to the thrust. The step must be grazing on the ground. Step dispersion upwards must be avoided. The increase in speed will be generated by the rise in the step’s frequency without increasing the amplitude, which will instead be a bit shorter.
Running uphill: short repetitions
Short repetitions are climbs of a distance between 60 and 200 meters, while the slope, in short climbs, must be between 6 and 8%. The number of repetitions varies depending on the distance of the individual test. For example, you can run from 10 to 15 times the 60/100 m. The recovery between each trial will be 60-90″ to be done by walking and returning to the starting point.
The number of repeated tests uphill of 150 m can be around from 8 to 12 repetitions, the recovery to be made in surplus varies between 1’30 “and 2′. We consider short climbs also those of 200 m, to be repeated a maximum of 10 times always with recovery in place of 2′-2’30”. Each short climb training must be followed by 4-8 km to be run at a slow pace, followed by 4-6 stretches of 80-100 meters, to be run at the reference speed or slightly higher.
On medium climbs, the distance varies from 250 to 1000 meters. Also, in this case, the number of repetitions is variable: from 10×250 m you can go up to 4-6×1000 m, depending on the race you are preparing and the period in which they are included in the programming. Recovery consists of returning to the starting point running at a slow pace. The incline varies between 3 and 5%.
How to choose the right slope for running uphill?
It is not always easy to find the right incline for your uphill training. With the help of Garmin devices, however, especially those equipped with barometric altimeter as some of the latest models of Forerunner, you can keep under control the slope of the climb, as well as precisely program all the steps of the training, whether it is repetitions or short fast. With a Forerunner, training uphill will be easy, fun and in some ways even less tiring. Have fun!