My weekly workout schedule always (rain, snow or shine) includes at least one session of hill sprints. When I first started doing them, it was a love-hate relationship, and now Iโ€™m in a committed all-love relationship with them. The individual sprints donโ€™t get easier, and thatโ€™s the point โ€“ itโ€™s hard to hit a plateau when it feels like youโ€™re dying after each one. But what has improved is my:โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃ

โšก ๐Œ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐๐ž: when I first started, I could only do 5. And then when I increased it to 10, I had to count to 5 twice; counting to 10 felt too daunting;โฃโฃโฃ

โšก ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐š๐ž๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ข๐œ & ๐š๐ง๐š๐ž๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ข๐œ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ: I now can do 20 sprints, before I feel like Iโ€™m completely taxed outโฃโฃโฃ;

โšก ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ง๐๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ข๐ง: and now, I actually crave it because the runnerโ€™s high is amazingโฃโฃโฃ;

โฃโฃโฃโšก ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž: my heart rate and breathing normalizes pretty quickly afterwards, by the time I jog light back downโฃโฃโฃ;

Whether youโ€™re new to running, or are a seasoned long distance runner, the benefits of hill sprints (hill repeats, if you canโ€™t go full out) translate over to traditional flat terrain running.โฃโฃโฃ

Additional Benefits:

  • ๐“๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐ž๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐ญ: you donโ€™t have to run for an hour. After a good warm up (i.e. a nice jog to your preferred hill), depending on your fitness level, you only need 10-20 minutes to do your sprintsโฃโฃโฃ;
  • ๐๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ค๐ง๐ž๐ž ๐ฃ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ + ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ:โฃโฃโฃ
    1) Because itโ€™s time efficient, you donโ€™t need to run long distances and for hours (which over time can be rough on your knees);โฃโฃโฃ
    2) Running up on an incline is actually better on your knees than pounding on flat pavement; because of the angle of the hill, the distance between your foot and the ground is less, resulting in less impact on your joints.โฃโฃโฃ
  • ๐๐จ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ & ๐ฌ๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ: even more than distance running; the EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) is greater and leaves your metabolism stoked for 24-48 hours after your run;
  • ๐ˆ๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ง๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ง๐จ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐•๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ ๐ฆ๐š๐ฑ: the amount of oxygen your body can consume and deliver to your muscles during intense exerciseโฃโฃโฃ;
  • ๐ƒ๐ž๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ค ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐œ๐ฅ๐ž compared to flat terrain sprints: even though you are running at your max effort, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜บ, ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏโฃโฃโฃ;
  • ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฉ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ง๐ž๐Ÿ๐ข๐ญ๐ฌโฃ: your best effort at running at sub-max speed is enough in gaining these benefitsโฃโฃ;
  • ๐†๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ซ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ข๐ง ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  & ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐ž๐ซ ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ: because of the incline, the sprints require more muscle recruitment of your posterior chain (low back, glutes, hamstrings, calves), not just your hamstrings (like in flat terrain running), thereby allowing a shared load of training stress. Weak glutes is a common concern for runners; adding strength exercises and hill sprints can help offset that;
  • ๐ˆ๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐: the intensity of an exercise where your body cannot remove the lactate as fast as it is accumulating in your bloodstreamโฃโฃโฃ;
  • ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐œ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ (๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง ๐Ÿ๐š๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐ก๐ข๐ ๐ก ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ): sprinting has an anabolic (building) effect on your muscles; whereas long duration steady state cardio can have a catabolic (breakdown of muscle) effect once you hit the one-hour markโฃโฃโฃ;
  • ๐ˆ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ง๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ: it encourages you to run with your knees high, naturally aggressive arm and shoulder action and striking the ground with your mid-foot and forefoot (not heel)โฃโฃโฃ;
  • ๐ˆ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐›๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐ : when youโ€™re really pushing it and are struggling, you donโ€™t have the luxury of getting boredโฃโฃโฃ;
  • Because of the strength and power needed to power up the hills, it ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ง๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐ž๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ซ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ง๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ โฃ and it’s great training for the last 100m sprint you have to the 10k finish line

โฃโฃโฃShould you add hill sprints or hill repeats
(running modestly, not sprinting full out)?

๐˜๐„๐’! ๐€๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐  ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐ ๐š๐ž๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ข๐œ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง, ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐๐ข๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐๐ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฏ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฌ.โฃโฃโฃ

Comment below ๐Ÿ‘‡
and let me know your relationship with sprinting and trekking up hills.

โฃโฃ