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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > May-17 > Vertical gains

Vertical gains

Stop hating on hill sprints. Their benefits go way beyond those runs when the road rises up

TRAIN

You look up and there it is looming right in front of you: a monster of a hill that is going to require all your effort and focus to get to the top of. You’re going to expend more energy than when running on the flat, your breathing rate will go sky-high, your back will hurt, while muscles and tendons will start squealing.

All this suffering will be worth it though as not only will being able to run a great hill in a race make all the difference to your time, it can help with a myriad of other facets of your performance. Regular running uphill against the higher resistance of your bodyweight and gravity has been shown to improve running economy, promoting better breath control, cadence and stride length. Plus it has a positive affect on flexibility, muscle recruitment and activation, leg strength, plus power and lactic tolerance. Even if you’re not planning on becoming a mountain goat any time soon, hill training is a must for better running.

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About Men's Running

Variety, as they say, is the spice of life and when it comes to running nothing could be truer. Whether novice or veteran, once you’ve got your running shoes on the world opens up to you unlike it does for any other sport. If you just want to pound the pavements you can start the moment you step out the door, either following a beaten path or taking a psycho geographical approach to an area. Or you can head off into nature and run the trails, marked or unmarked, and experience the unique challenges they have to offer. At this time of year those who prefer their runs organised can enter multiple events every weekend – from tiny attendance 10Ks to mass participation marathons – and build up quite a medal collection in the process. And if a marathon isn’t quite long enough for you, the growing number of ultra events means your endurance ambitions are well catered for. Then there are the OCRs, charity dashes, duathlons, triathlons and of course your local parkrun. All of which add to the diversity you enjoy when being part of the running community, whatever your ability. Our aim at Men’s Running is to cover all of these bases and offer a balanced view of what it is to be a runner and the issues and topics that affect and interest us all. Drop us an email on mensrunning@wildbunchmedia.co.uk and let us know how we’re geting on – we’d love to hear from you. And don’t forget to head over to mensrunning.co.uk for more reviews and features, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.
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