Hill training is one of the most important components of a solid OCR routine. By incorporating hills into our training regimen we can:

  • improve our running form by increasing joint mobility
  • increase the strength and power of our quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves
  • improve our cardio base

We all may not live near a base of a mountain, but I am sure we all have access to a few great hills or at the very least, to a treadmill.

If you are running outside, find a hill that has a long, 3-5 degree gradual slope.

 40 minute hill training workout:

Warm up for 5 minutes: (high knees, gate swings, glute kicks, easy jog)

5-10min: Steady jog at a comfortable pace (treadmill: 0% incline, easy speed)

10-12 min: Steady uphill jog (treadmill: 3% incline, moderate speed)

12-14 min: Steady downhill jog (treadmill:  0% incline, intense speed)

14 min: Steady jog/water break (treadmill 0% incline, easy speed)

15 min-20 min: Alternate 60 second speed intervals on hill followed by a 60 second easy downhill jog(treadmill 3-4% incline, intense speed followed by 0% incline at easy speed)

20 min: Steady jog/water break (treadmill 0% incline, easy speed)

21 min-26 min: Alternate 90 second speed intervals on hill followed by a 90 second easy downhill jog(treadmill 4-5% incline, intense speed followed by 0% incline at easy speed)

26 min: Steady jog/water break (treadmill 0% incline, easy speed)

27 min-30 min: Steady uphill jog (treadmill: 3% incline, moderate speed)

30 min-33 min: Steady downhill jog (treadmill:  0% incline, intense speed)

33 min-38 min: Steady jog at a comfortable pace. (treadmill: 0% incline, easy speed)

38min-40min: Walk at a comfortable pace (treadmill: 0% incline, very easy speed)

 

Here are a few tips to improve your hill running technique:

Uphill:

  1. Keep your chest open and eyes looking up.
  2. Do not lean into the hill. Doing so may cause you to hunch over and constrict your airway.  This motion will also shorten your hip flexors range of motion.
  3. Use the mental cue, “stand tall and drive your hips”. This will remind you to focus on using your hip muscles to power your way up the hill and extend your leg fully behind you.

Downhill:

  1. Maintain a slight forward lean.  Leaning backward will cause you to slow down.
  2. Shorten your stride and quicken your cadence. That way, you'll take lighter steps and land more on your midfoot instead of using your heel as a brake.
  3. Keep a slight bend in your landing leg to avoid absorbing all the impact on your knee.

I hope that this workout and information will help you in your training for your next race!  Good luck!

 

 

Series Navigation<< Roadtrip and Race: Planning the Perfect ‘Racecation’OCR 101: 5 Daily Habits to Make You Better at Obstacle Course Racing >>