If you enjoy running and know the benefits of adding cardio to your training sessions but have not included hill sprint workouts, then you are missing on a lot of gains your body could be getting. Hill sprints are often neglected, but BOXROX is here to shine a light on it and tell you why you should give space to this exercise next time you decide to run outside.
Hill sprint workouts are very demanding, although relatively shorter than what most CrossFitters are used to. While on normal WODs you would run for 400 meters, sometimes 800m, hill sprints are usually based on time, not distance. The name is self-explanatory: you sprint as fast as you can uphill, not on a flat surface, for a short period of time.
Benefits of Hill Sprint Workouts
Running uphill has similar benefits as running on a flat surface, with a few extra ones. As with regular running, hill sprint workouts will increase your lung capacity and burn huge amounts of calories. Check out some other benefits:
- Less injury prone when running
- Improved communication between your muscles and brain
- Strengthens muscles and connective tissues
- Increases your stride power
- Overall improvement of running efficiency
With each step going uphill, you shorten the length of the stride, but requires more effort to keep running as you need the extra strength to propel your body upwards, against gravity. By going uphill, you will cause less shock on your body, compared to running on a flat surface.
Uphill running will help improve your aerobic conditioning, decrease your resting heart rate, subsequently making your engine more efficient for any cardio activity.
How Much Inclination?
How inclined should the terrain be? That is the million dollar question that, frankly, most people should not worry about.
In general terms, a hill with inclination between 5% and 10% will prove a good workout to most athletes.