Hill sprints are killing me

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  • #21610


    I was trying to do the hill sprints exercise from Tftna. Since I used to do track and field, I’m pretty sure I can engage a lot of my FT fibres since that workout roughed me up so bad. I had to stop after 2 of 3 sets. Should I reduce repetitions, sets or intensity?


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    Anonymous on #21643


    Yes, for you this may not even be the most productive use of your training time. Try doing them at 90% intensity and you also need more rest. Are your feeling sore and stiff or just like you are wasted after these. For you they need to be 6-8seconds long maximum.

    Try that and let me know.


    NotOnEiger on #21714

    I tried the hill sprints as well and I was not able to even do 2 sets of 4 sprints. I was wasted after one set of 4 and 2nd set of 3. I rested 2 minutes between sprints and the 5 minutes between sets. The rest of that day I was literally done. That is some time ago and currently due to my injury, I would not even consider it again. But one day, as a replacement for strength workout, with Scott’s recommended reduction of length and/or longer rest time in between, I will do it again.

    Aaron on #21719

    I am sooo not a fast twitch person but I have been doing the 10 sec hill sprints through the Mike Foote Big Vert Plan. I have found them to leave me feeling very refreshed and springy with no big fatigue the next day.

    However, I did add ~8 weeks of additional base onto the front of the Big Vert plan and followed gym based Max Strength workout protocols from TFTNA (I used squats, bulgarian split squat, step ups, single leg box jumps). I choose these to target ski touring and prep for running specific hill sprints later in the plan. I feel like they were an effective prep and have been surprised how much I like the hill sprints. I should note too that in addition to the ~2 month gym Max Strength base work I was also doing the gym based ME workouts (one of each each week). I am not sure what the interplay might be between them, and would love Steve or others to comment on if a gym based MaxS would help prep for running specific MaxS via hill sprints.

    TFTUA includes these Max Strength in the gym based strength chapter but with nowhere near the same explicit treatment or emphasis as TFTNA. I highly recommend reading the latter and then reviewing the TFTUA to tease them out.

    Dada on #21725


    Thank you for your answer!

    Regarding your questions. I made them 8s long but at the end was not even able to complete 8s (and I talk about the second set 😉

    I was feeling very sore and stiff the next days. Right after the training I was just so done, I could barely run back.

    I will try 90%, limit the sprints to 6s and will make 3min rests. As soon as my course is dry again, I keep you posted.


    Let me know how this worked for you.

    Thank you very much

    Dada on #22000


    some feedback:

    I did the sprints again but changed the settings quite a bit.

    I selected a way steeper hill (~35°) than the first time and performed at lower intensity (~90%). It was still very challenging, but it got better. Unfortunately, I got an asthma attack and I did not have my inhaler so had to stop after 2 sets. I will try now longer breaks and I will keep my inhaler at hand for the next exercises.

    Thanks for your input!


    campiana on #23135

    Just to clarify, the previous poster said they picked a 35 DEGREE hill, but the book recommends between a 30-60 PERCENT hill. A 35 degree incline is over 70% grade. This seems way too steep per the book’s recommendations. I just want to confirm that the hill sprint recommendations are in PERCENT not DEGREES, correct?

    Dada on #23136

    Yes, in my case it was actually 35° not 35%. Less steep ascents are way too demanding for me. But I would be also curious if that is too steep.

    Anonymous on #23322

    A 70% grade will place the emphasis on leg strength and less on leg power/speed. Since we are trying to use these hill sprints as a form of strength training this steep hill is fine. I have used up to 100% grade. Crazy steep and you need steps to make good power. This should feel like a very hard leg strength session in the gym.


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