Another post on hill sprints

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.

My big hill

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.

Happy sprinting!

Five reasons I love sledwork

Pulling a sled is something I really like to do. It’s a very versatile tool, that can be used for building strength, muscle and lungpower, but it’s also a great recovery tool.

boy-pulling-sled-8775956

So, what are the five reasons I like sleds so much?

  1. You can load up the hips and legs without loading the spine. With all the squatting, deadlifting and other spinal loading you’re doing, giving the good ol’ backbone a rest is a good thing.
  2. Strictly concentric. Sledwork has no eccentric phase, which means it will not get you as sore as other types of training. This is great for strength, but even greater for recovery – it’ll let you flush the muscles with blood, without causing additional soreness.
  3. It’s “functional” as in, it has great carryover to the real world.Pushing/pulling stuff is great for starting cars, hanging out with the kids in the winter and/or handling the dog.
  4. You can pull a sled outside in the sun (and you can make a sled easily from a spare tire).
  5. The zombie walk sled pull and the controlled backpedal will blast your legs like few other things.
  6. It’s great for sprinting, because it slows you down, which forces you to overstride less, which again means lower risk of hamstring injuries.

Yea I know, that’s six, not five, but today I’m doing a little bit extra since it’s Monday and I had a great weekend with the family.

Bonus: 2 different DIY sleds: