Hill Sprints and Stair Runs
Either hill sprints or stair runs are a great way to get fit fast! This type of cross training is ideal for any sport that uses short energy bursts and is a great cardio builder. If you haven’t done this type of running before its a good idea to ease into it slowly. Choose a hill or set of stairs that is not too busy with cars and people. Start by walking the climb and familiarise yourself with the distance and incline of the run. The optimal time of the run should take around 30 seconds. If the hill is too long just run a portion of it. If running stairs look at the spacing between steps and time your strides. Once you are familiar with the climb its time to start running! Its a good idea to do a quick warm up jog for 10-15 minutes on the flat. Once you sprint to the top and either jog or walk back down to the bottom, then sprint back up again and so on. Start with a target of 4 sets and see how you feel. Of course how many you do will depend on your fitness, the distance and incline of the run. Use a stopwatch to time each run. By recording the time allows for a personal best time to beat. It also lets you know if you are lagging or going slower each run. Due to the nature of this run it is recommended to attempt the run on an empty stomach. Being hunched over sprinting can make you feel nauseous if you have eaten recently.
You will definitely see results if you keep this type of training consistent. Running hills/stairs twice a week is certainly enough to get fit quickly especially if incorporated into your weekly training regime. Training on hills overall improves leg-muscle strength, quickens your stride, expands stride length, develops your cardiovascular system, enhances your running economy and can even protect your leg muscles against soreness. As a form of cross training these sprints will help prepare you physically for any sporting challenges you plan to face. Good Luck!