Training on hills is as important as normal flat surface sprints. It improves leg-muscle strength, quickens your stride, expands stride length, develops your cardiovascular system, enhances your running economy and can even protect your leg muscles against soreness. Therefore, hill running will make you stronger, faster and a healthier runner. Stronger legs also mean less chance of injury.
There are a number of types of hill sprints. You can keep regular intervals such as 30 seconds on 30 seconds off. You can increase your incline each sprint. You can increase your speed or increase both incline and speed. Even your times can change. The purpose is to push hard for leg muscles, increase your heart rate to improve fitness and to become faster and also increase endurance in your long distance runs.
I do sprint intervals weekly, however I challenge my body, mind and fitness by continually changing what I do. Each week I make it harder so I progress. That may be speed, time on and off, how I time my intervals and inclines I use.
Here is a simple one I do. I do change incline and speed. To start, choose your hill sprint time. Your rest will be double that. As you improve over the weeks you can decrease rest times, increase speed and incline.
Remember a sprint is just that, go fast and hard. I try and hit 85% to 100% maximum heart rate. To work out your maximum HR (heart rate) complete the sum, 220 – your age = you Max HR.
If your a beginner, start with 4 to 6 sprints and build up. Be sure to warm up before you begin and cool down and stretch after.
Always seek medical advice when starting new exercise or programs.