Winter Running Hill Sprints

Posted by

Even when winter comes there is no reason to quit hill sprint training sessions.  Yes it is cold and there may be snow and ice, but why would that stop you.  If anything the snow and the ice should excite you.  Have you ever heard a kid complain about a little slip and sliding?  No instead they try to find the first snow bank they can and head on up it.  All about conquering it and showing us how easy it is.

When do you add these hill sprints in?  This type of workout is perfect to add into the middle or end of a training session.  At that point you have already warmed up your muscles to be able to handle the acceleration and driving forces that this workout entails. 

Introducing this workout into your run be sure to keep the number of repetitions minimal. By starting with 2-3 sets you will allow the muscles time to adapt.  Slowly increase the reps over several weeks.  These workouts are much harder than you expect.  Trust me you will feel it.  Gradually work your way up to 10-12 of these sprints.  On the way down you can either walk or jog.  Jogging downhill on snow can be hard but has its benefits and quite fun.  Once at the bottom take a break between 1 to 2 minutes before your next sprint.

Now that you are ready to go it is time to find that ideal hill.  We aren’t talking about something huge, but a hill that takes between 10 to 15 seconds to ascend.  A quick hard driving run that is short enough to prevent lactic acid build up.  Even most flatlanders can find one of these.  Where do you take your kids sledding?  That is perfect.

Below you can find some of the benefits of running hill sprints this winter.

  • Running up the hills takes a lot of work. Whether you are running fast or slow up the hills you have to grind it out.  More work equals more power.
  • Down hills – well better get those feet moving fast. If you don’t keep up, yep you’re going to be landing on your back side.  Just like summer downhill running is great for speed.
  • Obviously running on snow the ground is uneven. Just wait till this workout is done.  All those muscles you don’t usually use, they are going to be sore tomorrow.
  • Increase your heart rate. Depends where you live but many of us in the cold snowy areas run a lot of easy runs.  Yes easy runs are the key to any base training but you need to make that old ticker work.
  • Depending on the size of the hill but if it is a short one this is a workout that your kids will actually enjoy. I’ve mentioned before family time and training are a key to long term success.

Now time to head outside and embrace the snow and cold.  After this workout you’ll want to kick back and enjoy a warm drink.