Working out a load … but just not getting the results you were looking for?
Or perhaps you’ve been doing lots of running recently but just can’t seem to nail the physique - or the times - you wanted.
This is where hill sprints come in. In this article, Beast Gear takes a look at what they’re all about and how they can benefit you.
Running up a hill might sound like a challenge, but it’s a great way to upgrade your conditioning and with it your fitness and performance in whatever your chosen sport.
Moreover, it’s easier on your connective tissues and joints than you’d expect, and it can produce awesome results in regards your endurance, speed and raw power, taking you to the next level.
Indeed, hill sprints arethe endurance test that will help you to stay persistent in other sports, and even life itself.
The key is to stay consistent and to keep pushing yourself. Here are 2 hill sprints you can try:
As a beginner, your focus needs to be on improving your endurance. To that end, find a hill that isn’t too high - small to medium will do - and which ascends gradually.
As you run up the hill, keep pushing your intensity until your maximum heart rate hits 70%. Then, keep going until you reach the top of the hill, before walking back down to bring your heart rate down to around 50%.
Rest and then do the sprint again - and again.
As you move from beginner to advanced, your focus will shift from endurance to speed and raw power. To this end, look for a hill that’s super steep but still small to medium in terms of height. Whereas beginners need to look for a hill that ascends gradually, advanced sprinters want a hill that ascends immediately.
And whereas beginners aim to push their maximum heart rate to 70%, advanced sprinters need to take that up a notch, busting a gut until they reach 100% of their maximum heart rate. Once there, keep going - maintain that intensity until you get to the summit.
Then, walk down to the bottom of the hill, dropping your heart rate to 50%. Rest for a few minutes before going again. If you want to maintain momentum, you can lightly jog down the hill.
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced sprinter, your aim should be to achieve a heart rate of 140 beats per minute.
Hill sprints are a challenge to anyone who currently has knee issues. If this is you, use a knee salve to help you out. While running up a hill is safe for your joints, you still need to look after your connective tissue if you’ve already got problems.
Also, if you have tight calves at the minute, use a calf stretcher to stay safe and healthy.
Ready to go harder and faster than ever before? Hill sprints are a great way to push yourself to the limit while discovering more about what you can do. Take some time to locate some great hills, pack a lunch, maybe grab a friend - and get to it.