Hill Sprints

  • Creator
  • #51181

    I started to introduce hill sprints into my training after the base period and had the first session today:

    30min warm-up
    8x10sec hill sprints with 2min rest in between (slowly walking down). Slope was about 20% (steepest I could find nearby)
    20min run out

    At the end of the sprints I felt like my lungs were bursting but I didn’t feel anything in my legs. HR was in the low 150s at the end of the sprints, which is just above my AeT. During the last two reps I couldn’t maintain the same speed for the full 10sec.

    I’m not sure if I performed it right and if it has the desired effect since I didn’t feel any leg fatigue.
    The slope seems to be on the low end of what the books suggest. Is it maybe not steep enough to make this a leg power exercise? Or maybe I simply can’t recruit enough FT fibers?

  • Participant
    Rachel on #51182

    I don’t feel much in my legs either but after my second session I went to hike up a steep grade and I just couldn’t do it. My legs were not sore but they were quite fatigued. It’s common for slow twitchers to not feel much at first but it is working.

    Dada on #51183

    10s is quite long, I think.

    I’m an FT guy and even the 8s were too long for me. I was wrecked way too fast. Maybe you are an FT guy as well and should therefore decrease the reps to 6s and increase the break between reps to 3mins.

    That’s what Scott J. had been recommending back then.

    Rachel on #51195

    Scott has mentioned that slow twitch athletes will feel like the hill sprints aren’t doing anything while the fast twitch athletes can get wrecked from them. Your body is learning to recruit those FT fibers so there’s a strong neuromuscular effect.

    I also am doing 10 second sprints because that’s the shortest interval my watch will let me program in.

    But as I said before, they felt so easy that I thought I could hike a steep uphill the next day. It wasn’t until I tried that I realized I had fatigue from the previous day.

    Aaron on #51208

    Your experience sounds normal based on my experiences. As per Rachel’s commment: I believe TFTUA Scott mentions specifically that if you don’t feel like they are achieving much in the first sessions that is a sure sign you need to do more of it, and as the neurological wiring happens you will feel more and more training effect. My short hill sprint and ski bounding efforts leave me feeling energized and like Rachel don’t feel the effect really until the next day, and even then it is NOTHING like the ME effect :).

    Dada on #51229

    Here is my discussion with Scott:

    Hill sprints are killing me

    They still kill me, but not so bad anymore.


    Anonymous on #52373


    HR was in the low 150s at the end of the sprints, which is just above my AeT.

    That’s normal. It varies per person, but the duration usually isn’t long enough to get past AnT. So a Z3 HR after a short “Z10” effort makes sense.

    During the last two reps I couldn’t maintain the same speed for the full 10sec.

    You can probably repeat this session. The workout was effective for eight reps in this instance, then power dropped off.

    Anonymous on #52374

    Also, try and maintain a consistent or increasing pace. If you go full gas from the beginning, even over ten seconds, you’ll slow down.

    I set up my watch (Garmin) so that there’s a five-second countdown between intervals. I go almost all-out to start, and then all-out once the five-second countdown begins. In reality, RPE increases, but the pace stays pretty constant.

    Mullaney on #66228

    Hi, a caution to fellow >50 year olds on the hill sprints. I bought Training for the New Alpinism and followed the program to create a big aerobic base. Then I moved to max strength and chose hill sprints as my primary approach. Well, despite a good warm up, I pulled a hamstring — just grade 1 — and struggled the next month to try to ice it, rest it, and move on to weight hill climbs since my trip to Rainier was only 2 months away. I just had to cancel. So if you’re >50 and not very flexible, I would recommend finding some way other than hill sprints to achieve max strength.

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