T Nation

Hill Sprints

For those of you out there who do hill sprints, what sort of hill do you run on i.e. how steep and how far are the sprints? How many reps and how much rest would you typically do? Do you do them straight after a workout, some hours later or on an “Off” day? How many times a week?

I’m thinking of incorporating these into my program and just need a bit of advice. There are a wide variety of hills around where I live and I want to know which one I should select.

Cheers,

Ben

I had been doing it in the following manner:

Cycle length: 4weeks
Number of Hill run workouts / wk: 2
Number of other workouts / wk: 5

  • 1 x easy LSD cross-trainer / cycle
  • 2 x Max Effort Lift
  • 2 x 1.5hr Martial Arts

As you see my hill runs are seperate from other workouts.

Details of my hill runs:
Steepness: Not exactly sure but feels like about 12% on treadmill
Length: Not sure neither, only know that it takes about 30secs with my max effort.
Effort: Max effort - run as hard as I can
Terrain: Grassy
Weather: Moderately humid and Sunny during the whole cycle

Reps:
wk1: 8
wk2: 9
wk3: 10
wk4: 10
Rest: Active rest 60-90 secs (i.e. take 1 - 1.5mins to slowly jogging down the hill)

I do hill sprints once a week at the gym carpark as part of a cardio workout. Basically, I do 20 minutes low pace rowing machine, then go outside and do sprints. I do 10 x 200m sprints, rest period of however long it takes me to walk to the bottom again. Incline is about 12 degrees (at a guess).Then I go back and do maybe 20 minutes incline walking on the treadmill.

I have no theory or scientific reason behind any of this, I just found that I don’t spew as much with this approach while still making good progress.

[quote]bg100 wrote:
For those of you out there who do hill sprints, what sort of hill do you run on i.e. how steep and how far are the sprints? How many reps and how much rest would you typically do? Do you do them straight after a workout, some hours later or on an “Off” day? How many times a week?

I’m thinking of incorporating these into my program and just need a bit of advice. There are a wide variety of hills around where I live and I want to know which one I should select.

Cheers,

Ben[/quote]

I tried hills sprints for the first time last night. Found a nice little hill about 5 minutes job from my place, which makes for an adequate warmup. The hill is part of a road, about 10-15 degrees and about 40-50m long. I did 10 sprints and then stumbled home, these things hurt!

I could feel my metabolism firing away for hours afterwards.

If regular hill sprints just aren’t painful enough, try running uphill backwards as fast as you can. My track coach used to have us jog a mile or so to a hill, have us do sets of alternating sprints: 2 forwards, 1 backwards, and then jog back. The backwards ones really work your hamstrings.

In the good weather I rotate them with 1/4 mile sprints.

The hill I use is about a mile away so I job to it as a warm up and usually walk back. It is a 270 yard hill and it takes me about one minute to get to the top going almost full bore. It’s darned ugly. I do three or four of those and I’ve had enough. It’s very much like torture.

I have no idea how steep it is, but it’s very very steep.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
In the good weather I rotate them with 1/4 mile sprints.

The hill I use is about a mile away so I job to it as a warm up and usually walk back. It is a 270 yard hill and it takes me about one minute to get to the top going almost full bore. It’s darned ugly. I do three or four of those and I’ve had enough. It’s very much like torture.

I have no idea how steep it is, but it’s very very steep. [/quote]

There are plenty of these type of hills where I live, after all I do live in the “Hills District” of Sydney! I think I will just ease my way into things as I have to be careful of my right knee,which has had a few operations on it. As a matter of fact all day yesterday I think my knee was questioning my sanity at performing the hill sprints on the night before! I’m used to that happening though when I try some type of new movement and then it usually settles down after about the second or third attempt. I will probably concentrate more on flat sprints to increase my fitness and gradually increase the amount of hill sprints I do. I might follow CT’s Running Man article for the flat sprints 2x week and throw in one day of hill sprints, what do you guys think of this strategy?

Hill sprints rule. I love doing a couple of them and then barfing up the scrambled eggs I ate three hours previous (you can’t really breathe while you barf so that makes it extra fun).
The hill I used was at most 50 yards long but it had to be 45 degrees.

[quote]NateN wrote:
Hill sprints rule. I love doing a couple of them and then barfing up the scrambled eggs I ate three hours previous (you can’t really breathe while you barf so that makes it extra fun).
The hill I used was at most 50 yards long but it had to be 45 degrees.[/quote]

45 degrees, yikes!

I’m with you brother…hills rule!

[quote]NateN wrote:
Hill sprints rule. I love doing a couple of them and then barfing up the scrambled eggs I ate three hours previous (you can’t really breathe while you barf so that makes it extra fun).
The hill I used was at most 50 yards long but it had to be 45 degrees.[/quote]

45 degrees?? You’re not into rock climbing are you? lol! That is a very impressive hill.

The sad part is there’s a lot of dorms up there and the kids have to walk up and down that hill every day. Ha ha ha!
It’s also fun to listen to cars struggle up that thing.

[quote]NateN wrote:
Hill sprints rule. I love doing a couple of them and then barfing up the scrambled eggs I ate three hours previous (you can’t really breathe while you barf so that makes it extra fun).
The hill I used was at most 50 yards long but it had to be 45 degrees.[/quote]

45 degrees? not if it is paved.

take a 4 foot long board and raise one side 2 feet off the ground. that’s 45 degrees. you would slide down it just standing on it if is was dirt too.

One thing I should mention is that the only a certain 50 yard section of the hill is that steep, and that’s what I use. Walking straight down is impossible, I have to weave a path (not that I mind, gives me more time to catch my breath). It’s not dirt, it’s grass and you obviously need the proper footwear. Luckily it never rained.

[quote]KiloSprinter wrote:
45 degrees? not if it is paved.

take a 4 foot long board and raise one side 2 feet off the ground. that’s 45 degrees. you would slide down it just standing on it if is was dirt too.
[/quote]

Here is a photo of a 40 to 45 degree hill. Certainly runable, but like I stated earlier: YIKES!

http://www.phototakers.com/forum/ftopic19986.html

Not to turn this into a geometry thread but raising a 4 foot board 2 feet off the ground would be 26.5 degrees. A 4 foot board raised 4 feet on one end would be 45 degrees.

Try mixing up hill sprints with sprinting up the stadiums at your local high school or college. Try alternating between hitting each step with trying to take as many steps in one bound. The great thing about stadiums is that they are located next to tracks and football fields so whatever polymetric drill you may want to incorporate is a few yards away from you.

Good point. But I’m picturing a 4 foot board raised 4 feet on one end. Looks vertical to me.

How about a 4 foot board raised on one end by a 2.828 foot board? (Took me about 5 minutes and a graphing calculator to figure this out. Stupid Pythongirus.)

[quote]frank377 wrote:
Not to turn this into a geometry thread but raising a 4 foot board 2 feet off the ground would be 26.5 degrees. A 4 foot board raised 4 feet on one end would be 45 degrees.[/quote]

I did the swimming equivalent of these last night, 50m (1 lap) sprints on a 2 minute cycle. I was aiming for 10 sprints but only got 8 before I thought of the effect I would be having on this morning’s weights session.

My technique was sloppy as well, it’s been a long time since I’ve done this many swim sprints. I started off doing about 35 second sprints but by the eigth it was up to about 41 seconds and my shoulders just wouldn’t turn over any more. Making it worse is the lack of oxygen and only being able to breath about one third of the time you can whilst running.

[quote]NateN wrote:
Good point. But I’m picturing a 4 foot board raised 4 feet on one end. Looks vertical to me.

How about a 4 foot board raised on one end by a 2.828 foot board? (Took me about 5 minutes and a graphing calculator to figure this out. Stupid Pythongirus.)

frank377 wrote:
Not to turn this into a geometry thread but raising a 4 foot board 2 feet off the ground would be 26.5 degrees. A 4 foot board raised 4 feet on one end would be 45 degrees.

[/quote]

If this still makes no sense to people, at 45 degrees, for every metre you go forward, you go up a metre in height.

[quote]Massif wrote:
NateN wrote:
Good point. But I’m picturing a 4 foot board raised 4 feet on one end. Looks vertical to me.

How about a 4 foot board raised on one end by a 2.828 foot board? (Took me about 5 minutes and a graphing calculator to figure this out. Stupid Pythongirus.)

frank377 wrote:
Not to turn this into a geometry thread but raising a 4 foot board 2 feet off the ground would be 26.5 degrees. A 4 foot board raised 4 feet on one end would be 45 degrees.

If this still makes no sense to people, at 45 degrees, for every metre you go forward, you go up a metre in height.[/quote]

meaning that for every horizontal meter you go forward, you rise 1 meter. the hypotonuse(hill slope) would be somewhere around 1.4 meters.
my orginal reply was silly, and representative of my poor math skills.

yeh, i guess we turned this into a geometry thread, haha.