Run for the hills… or stairs

GET FIT & MEAN IT! with World Champion Kate Bramley

Every now and again you might see a stair or hill session in your run or triathlon program. Or in the “off season” maybe it’s once or twice a week. However many athletes dread these sessions, or wonder why they need to do it if their race is a flat course.

Hill and stair training serves a few different purposes

  • Improves gluten engagement and strength
  • Prepare for an undulated or hilly race
  • Reduce perceived effort on a flat race
  • Improves specific and functional muscle strength which can be hard in the gym without proper guidance
  • Improves both speed & endurance
  • Improves knee drive
  • Increases eccentric loading (muscle lengthening) which cause the most muscle damage & soreness post session. With appropriate recovery this can lead to bigger training gains.
  • Adds variety to your training

When doing a hill session

  • Ensure you build up slowly to the frequency of sessions per week, duration & gradient of hill
  • Make sure you have sufficient recovery time between reps & sessions to ensure best technique
  • Focus on driving with your arms keeping them close to your chest & drawing the elbow back
  • Maintain good posture both up & down the hill
  • You can use the downhill as recovery or practice descending at pace with control
  • Fire your glutes & drive your knee to ensure maximum power
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