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Improve your power and speed with this quick hill session

Blast through this mini hill repeat session in under an hour

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

For many triathletes the fall signals the end of triathlon race season and a time to enjoy some road and trail running races. It’s also a great time to work on your running technique and fitness, which can be a great way to improve your run splits next tri season.

These hill repeats will wake up both your body and brain and are designed to be inserted into the middle of an easy run. These repeats are designed to reap neuromuscular benefits and will remind you what it feels like to move a little faster and push against an incline.

Ease into these repeats, making sure you aren’t going full-force. Aim to go by effort rather than specific pace–if you’re using the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale, these should be an eight out of 10. Between each 30-second repeat, take two to three minutes of recovery, walk down the hill, and then run easily on the flat section until it’s time to go again. You’re aiming to let your heart rate and RPE come right back down before you charge upwards each time.

Why hill repeats?

Hill workouts have a lower impact than traditional speed workouts on flat terrain, since the incline absorbs some of the shock from each stride, potentially reducing the risk of overuse injuries associated with repetitive pounding on hard surfaces.

Hill Hiking for Hip Strength – rehab and strength combined in one classic workout

Short hill sprints will also build your running speed and power, as they teach your body to generate greater force with each stride–translating to faster times when you hit the flats. The explosive power developed during short hill repeats can be especially valuable for sprinters and middle-distance runners.

The workout

Warm up with 15-20 minutes of easy running,

6 x 30 seconds hill repeats on an (approx) five per cent grade hill (RPE 8/10), with 2.5 min. recovery between reps.

Cool down with 15-20 minutes of easy running (or longer, if you’re planning a longer easy run).

How are today’s Ironman athletes running so fast?

Remember to take a recovery or very easy running day after a speedy or challenging workout.

This story originally appeared on runningmagazine.ca