By now, you know I’m a big fan of running hills.
I’ve had quite a few people ask me how I structure my sessions. I try to get out on the hill once a week, and I don’t use any form of waves or anything fancy. I lower the volume leading up to competitions or during particularly hard weeks though. Other than that, I try to slowly work my way up to 15-20 sprints over and over again.
When I’m on my own, I use a heartrate monitor to (duh) monitor my heartrate. 🙂
After warming up, I sprint halfway up the hill in the picture (about 50-55m) and I walk back down. When my heartrate comes down to 130-140 I run again. I currently have three programs I use, 10 sprints from 140 BPM, 15 from 135 BPM and 20 from 130 BPM.
I run to my hill (around 1300m), do some quick swings and running drills for about 5 minutes and get to work. I usually do five really controlled runs, then ramp up the intensity from there. I rarely do more than 5-10 actual all out sprints. Obviously, this number increases as conditioning levels do.
Once in a while, I’ll be out there with friends and then all the good intentions in the world go down the drain. We usually run all the way up for anywhere from 10-20 sprints. This is murder! You need to have a special mindset for this type of session and you pretty much need to do them with a partner. I’d guesstimate that I do 3-6 session on my own for every one session with a friend.
These sessions are great fun, but they’re honestly often more of a competition than real training. They represent a bit bigger of a stress than I usually prefer anyways. Just like you go in and lift heavy every now and then, or hammer yourself with a ton of volume, you can do the same thing with the sprints. Just remember to get plenty of fluid and food in you afterwards.