TRT Base Training - Hill Repeats
Jan 9th - Week #4 Hill Training Plan
Hills: 3 x 1.5km hilly hill loop (starting at the base of Centre Rd: run uphill to Colborne Lodge Dr, turn left and follow around restaurant coming back through the parking lot picking up speed as you descend down the hill back to the starting point.
2 min jog / rest between repeats.
We will follow up the workout with 4x100m strides
While we are trail runners at heart, it is important to build a good base. Our intent is to leverage various hill and speed training techniques on a weekly basis throughout the cold winters and then blast into spring.
This type of training is usually best accomplished on stable terrain. As we near the spring, we will leverage this strong base when promoting ourselves to distance and endurance training on trail in the GTA.
Best plan for these Tuesday morning runs is to do your warm up by running to the meeting area, be ready to start the hill/speed training with us at 6:15am and then do your cool down afterward by running back home. If you must drive to High Park, then we recommend showing up 10-15 minutes early and do your warm up before the training component starts at 6:15am.
Given the extreme cold weather, we will need to start at 6:15am sharp each week so as to keep safe against the elements.
Good information for Downhill running
If you’ve ever run a race with long or steep hills, you know what hill running can do to your legs. Even though running uphill seems harder, it’s the downhills that cause the biggest problems.
Downhills are so tough because of all the gravity-induced eccentric muscle contractions, during which your muscle fibers are forced to lengthen, causing them to tear. The muscle damage decreases your muscles’ ability to produce force, which slows your pace on the flat and uphill portions of the race and leads to delayed-onset muscle soreness, which includes an inflammatory response and lasts for a few days following the race as your muscle fibers heal.
Eccentric contractions are also unique in that fewer muscle fibers are active compared to other types of muscle contractions, causing the force generated to be distributed over a smaller area of muscle. A greater force over a smaller area equals greater tension, which causes even more damage. Downhill running also affects running economy, the amount of oxygen you consume to maintain a given pace. A number of studies have shown a significant decrease in running economy for up to one week following a 30-minute downhill run on a 10 to 15 percent grade.
Damaging muscle fibers with eccentric contractions makes them heal back stronger, protecting them from future damage. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiologyin 1985 found that just a single 30-minute run downhill at 10 percent grade had a prophylactic effect on muscle damage and soreness for up to six weeks. Therefore, while you can expect your muscles to be sore after the first time running downhill, subsequent downhill workouts will cause less soreness. Add downhills to your training a little at a time. Start with a short, gradual slope of about two to three percent grade, and progress to steeper and longer descents.
Treat downhill workouts as hard sessions, and make sure you recover before your next hard work out since your legs need recovery from the stress of going downhill, just like they do from any hard workout. Time has the greatest effect on healing your muscle fibers from the eccentric contractions of downhill running. So make sure you back off of the hills in the final few weeks before a race.
One thing to be aware of when training downhill is your mechanics, since it’s easy to over stride when running downhill. Instead of focusing on reaching forward for a longer stride — which already happens from the pull of gravity — emphasize a quicker leg turnover, which will keep your momentum going forward. Running on trails requires even greater caution, since you won’t have as much time to decide where to place your feet with the faster speeds attained on the downhill portions, so look ahead a few steps so you can prepare since the footing on trails is often unreliable.