Exercise scientist and national competitor, Heikki Rusko—one of the world’s leading researchers in running performance—needed a fast an effective method to prepare for the National Master’s Championships. His fix: Hill training. Knowing that hill training produces an increase in performance and a boost in aerobic capacity, Rusko heads for the hills. At 64-years-old, you’ll be happy to know that Rusko received a bronze medal for his competitive edge.
To accompany Rusko’s research, a study on hill training conducted by the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm, Sweden, says that hill training alone won’t cut it. You must work in a series of interval training every 10 days with plyometric drills and on day of rest each week.
– Up, Up and Down: Run uphill or at an incline (5.0 or higher) on a treadmill for 3 minutes. Reduce speed for downward decent and repeat 2 to 5 times, twice a week.
– Faster, Longer: Speed run as fast as humanly possible for 3 minutes and jog at a moderate pace for 1 minute. Practice this routine with 7 intervals every 10 days.
– Lunging Dumb Bell Squats: Grab 25 to 35 lb. dumb bells in each hand. Start with the right leg and lunge forward; when you bring the leg back to meet the left take a deep squat with your buttocks back; Repeat 10 times before switching legs. Practice 2 to 3 sets every other day.
– Set 1 – 5 reps x 30 seconds, 3 minute rest
– Set 2 – 5 reps x 30 seconds, 4 minute rest
– Set 3 – 5 reps x 30 seconds, 5 minutes rest
Find a hill with a good incline and sprint uphill for 30 seconds then jog down and repeat for each set. Make sure you are adequately warmed up prior to starting this workout and finish off with a cool down jog. This workout is a lot more intense that it looks on paper so don’t be surprised if the next day your legs feel like complete jello.
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