Improve Your Running Form With Short Hill Sprints

Photo: Liz Copan

The benefits of running uphill are numerous: increased power, enhanced efficiency and improved speed. But another key advantage of a good hill workout is that it can help your running form.

Sprinting up a hill reinforces good running form because you must get up on your forefeet, lift your knees, execute a rapid turnover and drive your arms. It also strengthens your lower-leg muscles and tendons, which allows you to utilize elastic energy and better absorb impact forces.

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These can be done two to three times a week during the base phase of training and once a week during the competitive season.

How to do it:

Step 1: After an easy run, find a steep hill with a grade of 6 to 10 percent.

Step 2: Sprint up for 8 seconds at 95 percent effort. Focus on “running tall” with an erect posture and short, powerful strides.

Step 3: Take a minute to catch your breath and then walk slowly back down for recovery.

Step 4: When you reach the bottom, repeat this sequence three more times, taking 60–90 seconds recovery between repeats so you can complete each with strong form.

Step 5: As you build experience and strength, increase your hill sprints to 10–12 seconds each, with 10 to 12 repetitions.

RELATED: 4 Fixes To Improve Your Running Mechanics

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