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Thread: Hill sprints-how steep, how long, duration of workout? page

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    Dan208's Avatar
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    Hill sprints-how steep, how long, duration of workout?

    I've been wanting to try hill sprints for a while now, but here in eastern Kansas we really don't have many hills (at least not the town I live in). I do have access, however, to the high school track/practice football field. It's built on slightly sloping land, so one end of the field resembles a pond dam. One side of it is steeper than the other, but shorter in length.

    Basically my main question is how long should a hill sprinting workout last with these smaller hills? I'm thining of switching things up and one time do the shorter, steeper side and the next time do the longer, less steep side. Should I set a timer and just sprint up/walk down until it goes off, or do it for a specific number of "sets", or both? Either way, what a good time length or number of sets to do?

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    primalmontana's Avatar
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    A good "rule" with interval training is about 30 min including a 5 min warm-up and cool down. Another option would be to find a flight of stairs. Do they have one at the same track?

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    primalrob's Avatar
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    mixing it up is probably a good idea, but how long to sprint and recover is pretty individual and based on your goals. i usually try for 100 dashes, maybe a little shorter if i'm on a low hill, shorter still for a steep hill. you can figure out your ideal length just by finding some open space and sprinting at 100% until you start to slow or lose form...maybe 15-20 seconds depending on your fitness level.
    for recovery, you need to figure out your goals. if you want to get better at sprinting, have more recovery time. if you want a kick ass cardio workout, use less recovery time.
    if it helps, my sprints are usually around 100-120 yards flat or on a low incline with 1-2 minutes of rest (including the walk back) between dashes for a set of 10-12.

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    Dan208's Avatar
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    No stairs anywhere around here except the post office, but I think I'd probably get in trouble for that. I'm definitely looking for a kick ass cardio workout. I'm hoping to get into either law enforcement (preferable) or corrections (second choice) in less than a year, hopefully more like 6 months or so.

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    jfreaksho's Avatar
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    Sprint for as long as you feel like you are running full-bore, all-out, no holds barred, I'm-about-to-fall-on-my-face-fast. You'll feel it when you start to slow down. That's when you slow down and stop to rest. 20 seconds is kinda the upper limit for most people, and if you are lasting longer than that you aren't going fast enough.

    Rest as long as you need to before you do it again.
    Do 4-8 repetitions of this, not more than once a week.

    Do this after a 5-10 minute SLOW jog, to make sure everything is warmed up without being overdone.

    Hills don't really hold much of an advantage over flat ground for me, other than the fall-on-my-face sensation isn't nearly so strong. (I kinda like being on that edge.) If you are putting forth full effort, you'll get great results on flat ground as well as hills. No real need for hills or stairs.

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    primalrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfreaksho View Post
    Hills don't really hold much of an advantage over flat ground for me, other than the fall-on-my-face sensation isn't nearly so strong. (I kinda like being on that edge.) If you are putting forth full effort, you'll get great results on flat ground as well as hills. No real need for hills or stairs.
    that's so funny...i love flat sprints for the same reason, and this week i took a spill at top speed. luckily, i landed in a way that let me roll right out of it and finish that dash.
    i also like that with flat sprints i can pretend i'm getting chased by something and go a little faster.

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    CaveWeirdo's Avatar
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    Hills and beaches are perfect ways to add more intensity to sprints. I'm quite hefty so a sprint for me is just jogging in the sand or attacking a sand dune/steps.

    I tend not to time myself. Maximum effort is the key to a productive session. Your previous PB might give you a goal that is too ambitious or not ambitious enough, depending on how you're feeling today. Sprint until you think you will die, then tell yourself, just a little further. The 'just a little further' bit, beyond your comfort zone, is where progress is made.

    Using a timer can motivate some people to go past their comfort zone, but I like to use my imagination to distract me instead. I find that treating my runs as a 'play' session, motivates to put maximum effort into my sprints. I'll have an imaginary friend say to me 'come on move your butt' when I'm starting to get tired, or maybe some other narrative in my head whereby getting to the top of the ridge fast is very important, like maybe I'm part of an invasion force taking a hill or something... yeah I'm bonkers... but my butt looks great lately!

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