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PowerFLIGHT™ Strength Endurance Training

Hill Training


Strength Endurance training is an important component to any training programme. Without the strength in your legs, there will be a very limited ability to sustain leg speed. Most runners are obsessed with either running long distances or running high intensity workouts, miss out the strength specific training that is supposed to sit in the middle of the two.


Hill Training


Hills are your friends. They make you stronger. It is a form of resistance training that builds up the muscles in your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Hill running strengthens those areas more than running on flat ground. You'll also strengthen your hip flexors and Achilles tendons.


The muscles you'll use to run up hills are the same ones used for sprinting, so the strength you build will improve your speed.


Basic hill technique


1. Don't start thinking that you want to attack the hill. The key to running hills properly is to maintain your effort level (which translates into a slower pace on the uphill), so you don't waste energy and end up out of breath at the top of the hill (that's a common mistake among runners).


2. As you approach an uphill, make sure you have good running form. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle and should be moving forward and back (rotating at the shoulder), not side to side.


3. Your back should be straight and erect. You can lean in very slightly from the hips, but make sure you're not hunched over.


4. Concentrate on swinging your arms lower and shorter. By keeping your arm swing lower and quicker, your legs will stay lower to the ground -- resulting in a short, quick stride.


5. As you reach the top of the hill, you can begin your normal stride again. If you ran the hill properly, you'll be able pass runners who wasted too much energy on the hill.


6. The best way to run downhill is to lean forward slightly and take short, quick strides. Don't lean back and try to brake yourself. Try to keep your shoulders just slightly in front of you and your hips under you. Although it's tempting to overstride, avoid taking huge leaping steps to reduce the pounding on your legs.


Hill training offers the following benefits:


  • Helps develop power and muscle elasticity
  • Improves stride frequency and length
  • Develops co-ordination, encouraging the proper use of arm action during the driving phase and feet in the support phase
  • Develops control and stabilisation as well as improved speed (downhill running)
  • Promotes strength endurance
  • Maximum speed and strength (short hills)
  • Improves lactate tolerance (mixed hills)

Various Types of Hill Training

Running hills is like doing speedwork, in effort if not in outright speed. It is hard on your body, so don't do more than one of the following sessions per week.


  • Hill Intervals
  • Hill Repeats
  • Hard Hills
  • Indoor Hills
  • Group Hills
  • Downhill Hills

Christine Luff, Warren Finke - TEAM OREGON, Runners World - Hill Training

ADVISORY: You are responsible for yourself and your property for all Team FatBird run sessions. Team FatBird and its members shall not assume responsibility or liability for any loss of property, injury, damage, accidents, death during the runs.