Hill sprints for strength/endurance

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  • #31571
    Ryan Dupuis

    This question relates to Mike Foote’s Big Vert plan, which I am about to start. I have access to several hills and mountain trails within driving distance, but I am having difficulty locating a hill suitable for sprinting on the specific strength/strength endurance workout days (+20% grade 50m-100m long, good footing). Most of the trails nearby are either very steep and technical with difficult footing, or lower grades with frequent switchbacks. I have tried to use the latter, but I am not sure if I would be better off sticking to a track/flat surface for these sessions, which would allow me to sprint with maximum power for the whole duration.


Posted In: Mountain Running

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    Anonymous on #31588


    First of all: Flat sprinting is not going to be as effective as steep uphill sprinting. You are trying to train the very specific ranges of motion involved in uphill running. Gravity is the important loading, like adding more weight in bar bell.

    Here’s the next best things if you can’t find a 20% grade. Wear a harness and drag a tire. You might have seen the picture of Steve House doing hill sprints on road dragging tires in p231 of Training for the New Alpinism. That road was only about 10% so we added the resistance. Notice his body position and hip flexion. It looks like he’s on a steeper hill.

    Next is to use a weight vest. Not quite as effective but better than trying to do these on a 6-7% gradient trail.


    Ryan Dupuis on #31746

    Thank you for your response, Scott–I’ll be on the hunt for some old tires! I can’t wait to get started with this.
    And a big thanks in general to you and Steve for all the quality content you put out. I had an incredible race season this fall, and I attribute much of it to the knowledge I have gained from your books and articles. It’s really much appreciated.


    samtugwell on #32448

    Hi, I read this as relevant to me and was starting to think about looking for an old tire… I found one on my way home today, seems ot was meant to be.

    My terrain is occasional hills around 10%, with flat forest trails in between. Is there any value in dragging the tire with me on my trail runs or is it specific to sprint workouts? What (if any) are other applications for my new found tire…?

    Thanks, sam

    ps goals are splitboard tour (day or weekend trip), easy alpine climbing (ridge scrambling UIAA 2-4), non technical Hochtour (around the PD-AD level)

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