I discussed overspeed training by means of a pulley or slight downhill grade.
But what about uphill running, or running with resistance such as sleds?
These two scenarios have two different functions, but I’ll discuss sleds and pulleys on a later post.
Over the Hills
Because distances on the hills are hard to measure (i.e. "the lamp post to fire hydrant", for example) I like using time based workouts. Even in the early 1980’s, we had Casio or Seiko digital stopwatches that beeped after a pre-programmed time.
So the term "over distance special endurance" is really "over time" or "extended time" special endurance.
Australian Darren Clark would do 3 x 2 x 360m hills with a 12 degree slope anywhere near 45+ seconds, and 52+ seconds for women.
Our male College athletes would use 50+ seconds as most of them are aiming to break 50 for the 400 meters.
They would jog down the hill for recovery between the repetitions, and do a full 45 minute recovery between sets.
Key Points to Hill Training
A few key points to consider:
1) The over distance is a refreshing way to get the special endurance sessions without getting flat or stale from the track.
2) You can do these on a variety of surfaces, to reduce the wear and tear on the track with spikes.
3) The slight uphill grade keeps their technique in balance, which is "staying tall" and preventing the hips from collapsing. Also, the ground rises to make contact with the feet, so athletes do not overstride, which may be beneficial to injury-proned athletes with hamstring problems.
4) If you are short on time, then you could skip the weight room as the hills adds an extra "power component" to the training session. We would do hills in freezing December so athletes would only need to spend 1.5 hours at track practice to get back home and study for their final exams. Moreover, the weight room was closed as the gymnasium floor was used for the final exams! Double whammy!
So unless you live in the Prairies or mid-west, hills may be beneficial to your training.