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Thread: Running Hills

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    Running Hills

    My son is 14 and runs the 100/200 hurdles. We have a long steep hill where we live and he runs it 3 times a day walking down to recover and save knees.

    Any advice from current/former track/hurdling atheletes?? He also does pullups, pushups, squats, and knee pullups on a "tower" we have in garage. We've read and seen videos about eventually pulling a tire up the hill which would be killer but incredible.

    Is there any kind of formula that converts hills distance to flat distance? I know there are so many variables but our hill is .2 miles and quite steep. I'm sure there is an app for altitude if there is such a formula.

    Thanks!



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    Re: Running Hills

    I train track athletes for a living and instead of running the hill 3x/per everyday, it would be better for him to run it more than 3x, but don't do it everyday. Maybe sprint up the hill a total of 10x twice or 3 days a week, with a rest day or two in between. Also, jogging down the hill is better than walking because it works the eccentric action of Quads.

    We use a treadmill for our incline runs, which inclines up to 40%. The majority of runs are done between 20%-30% and are done at 100% sprint speed for anywhere from 4-12 seconds. Our athletes will run probably 15-20 total inclined sprints in an hour, 1-2x per week. Partner that workout with a plyo workout and some squats and cleans and you'll get faster and more explosive.



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    Re: Running Hills

    There are 2 schools of thought on the pulling tire bit. As a Football coach, we use harnesses and have the kids pull various things and I do believe it helps with speed/explosiveness, although I don't have scientific evidence that this does the trick because there are obviously other exercises we do besides that.
    There is a another thought that says this harnesses and pulling things are bad on the hips because it pulls them out of their natural running alignment. Maybe someone more qualified than myself can speak to this?
    Also as far as the hill is concerned, something to consider would be to try various form running drills up the hill. Bear crawl, back pedal, high knees, carioca all might be things that help build his speed. And make sure he is stretching properly when done. Something a lot of young guys don't focus on enough.
    A jump rope and large boxes to do some plyometric work could be a good thing as well.
    I don't know about converting hill distance and I wouldn't worry about it either. No hurdle race he is going to run will be on a hill.
    And good luck as he moves out of having the 200 hurdles to the 400. Very challenging race.


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    Re: Running Hills

    @ Cyclonedave - You have any thoughts on the harness workouts?


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    Re: Running Hills

    Quote Originally Posted by wartknight View Post
    @ Cyclonedave - You have any thoughts on the harness workouts?
    We use a lot of them, both pushing and pulling. They are great as long as the athlete is strong enough to be able to pull/push while maintaining correct running form. (like you said on the hip positioning).
    But, using a harness or some type of other sprint cords are a great training tool. Especially, if you're looking for that explosive start and knee drive.


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    Re: Running Hills

    .2 miles of hill = .4583 miles of flat running, burning 2.8703 calories per 5 seconds.


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    Re: Running Hills

    Thanks for the great info! Any summer track camps in Iowa during the summer or is it more Jan.-March?



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    Re: Running Hills

    Quote Originally Posted by bobh33 View Post
    Thanks for the great info! Any summer track camps in Iowa during the summer or is it more Jan.-March?
    T&F camps are probably mostly over for the year now.
    If he and you are both serious about hurdling and sprinting, he should be running in track meets throughout the summer. Iowa games, AAU, etc. Track season in high school is just too short to really peak your best times.


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    Re: Running Hills

    I am pretty sure the Iowa State track and field camp is towards the end of july, at least it was back when i was in high school.

    edit: or that might just be cross country.



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    Re:Running Hills

    This is all great advice and i know this is a little off topic from your request but If he really wants to be a hurdler make sure he gets some good hurdle technique instruction and that he practices technique in the off season. Practices over one or a few hurdles at a time. There simply isn't time to learn it come season. There's only time to sharpen already learned technique.



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    Re: Running Hills

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclonedave25 View Post
    I train track athletes for a living and instead of running the hill 3x/per everyday, it would be better for him to run it more than 3x, but don't do it everyday. Maybe sprint up the hill a total of 10x twice or 3 days a week, with a rest day or two in between. Also, jogging down the hill is better than walking because it works the eccentric action of Quads.

    We use a treadmill for our incline runs, which inclines up to 40%. The majority of runs are done between 20%-30% and are done at 100% sprint speed for anywhere from 4-12 seconds. Our athletes will run probably 15-20 total inclined sprints in an hour, 1-2x per week. Partner that workout with a plyo workout and some squats and cleans and you'll get faster and more explosive.
    I ran high hurdles for ISU x 4 years and agree with this thinking listed from cyclonedave. If you can find a grass hill that would be better for the legs/shins vs a hard surface.

    I'm not a big fan of threadmills but that might just be me.

    I do strongly recommend that he works on stretching the legs, hips & the whole frame for flexability. Having a strong core is very important and work that area in his workouts. Lastly, video tape him doing 4-5 hurdles in a row at full speed and the summer is a perfect time to correct any small flaws that can make a big difference in a race.

    Good Luck.....Go Cyclones



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    Re: Running Hills

    We measured our hill and it's 311 meters with a steep incline. We are running up it three times and walking down each time to recover.

    Is it OK to run this everyday? Is there a point where we do more harm than good doing it everyday?

    Same question for pushups, chinups, etc. (no weights). OK to do everyday?

    Thanks for your help and suggestions!!



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    Re: Running Hills

    Quote Originally Posted by bobh33 View Post
    We measured our hill and it's 311 meters with a steep incline. We are running up it three times and walking down each time to recover.

    Is it OK to run this everyday? Is there a point where we do more harm than good doing it everyday?

    Same question for pushups, chinups, etc. (no weights). OK to do everyday?

    Thanks for your help and suggestions!!
    In order to really get faster, the hills should be shorter and steeper. This is so he can do a complete 100% sprint up the hill. It only needs to be long enough so that it takes 10 or so seconds to make it to the top. The incline really needs to be steep to really get good benefits. I'm talking 30-40% grade. You more than likely won't find these steeps grades on roads in Iowa (or almost anywhere for that matter), but small grass hills in parks or someplace else. Sprint up those 8-10 times per day, 2-3 days per week.

    You don't want to do hill training everyday, as you will start over training.

    You can do pushups and sit ups every day. As long as its body weight exercises. I would highly suggest doing some free weight exercises, rather than push ups and sit ups. Squats, cleans, etc will help you a lot more. Do those 1-2x per week.


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    Re: Running Hills

    Our high school track team has a hill that we run up 7x, once per week. I would suggest doing other workouts to change things up a little bit. Sprint 100, jog back 50 is always a fun workout.



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    Re: Running Hills

    I usually run this twice a week with a 40lb weight vest on. Mostly 10 at 75% and 12-16 at 85-90%. Definitely over 30 grade.
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