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Hill Sprints

Hill Sprints

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Published by Jeff Gaudette
Benefit of short, explosive hill sprints for runners
Benefit of short, explosive hill sprints for runners

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Published by: Jeff Gaudette on Jun 08, 2009
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02/09/2010

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Explosive Hill Sprints
An article by Jeff Gaudettehttp://www.premiercoachingonline.comI have recently begun assigning many of my athletes hill sprints after alot of research and experimentation on myself. Specifically, Theirschedules have them run between two and twelve 10-12 second hillsprints up a steep incline at 95% effort with full recovery. When I firstassign this workout a lot of the athletes think I must be crazy when Iask them to interrupt a distance run for 2x10sec hill sprints. To them,and to me at first, it would seem to be a big waste of time. However,this article will put to rest those inhibitions and shed light onto thebenefits of this new idea.I first heard about this idea from Brad Hudson, former coach of DathanRitzenhein and the current coach of James Carney, about 5 years ago.Over the last few years I have begun to conduct my own evaluation of the research to see if this was a useful and practical training tool. Aftersome extensive reading I do believe that the physiological andneuromuscular benefits of these sprints are numerous and can serveas a critical piece into most athletes training systems. There are three main benefits that come from doing the hills sprints.First, there is the strength building and injury prevention aspect,second there is the neuromuscular development, and lastly there arethe cardiovascular adaptations. The most obvious training aspect of the three is the strengthdevelopment. Hill running is the most specific form of strength trainingthat a runner can do. We can do squats, lunges, and hamstring curlsuntil our muscles sear but nothing compares exactly to running. Whenyou run up a hill there is an increased resistance and thereby anincrease in specific running strength. The explosive reaction caused bythe lifting of the hips, glutes and quads up the hill utilizes the sameprinciple mechanics behind doing plyometrics.However, what a lot of runners don’t realize is that these hill sprintscan help ward of injury as well. Running no more than 10 secondsensures that there is no lactate build-up in the muscles and littlefatigue, the main culprit behind most overuse injuries. In addition, thehill shortens the distance your foot has to fall or land before it hits theground, thereby decreasing the amount of shock on the body.Additionally, if the sprints are progressed in a safe and appropriate

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