A lot of people can be avid runners, getting out there 3-4 times a week and still avoid the hills every time on their trail. Why is this?
Well for a start, hill running is difficult. Its challenge is ongoing and never changes.
It requires a lot of mental toughness and adaptation. It’s the same feeling that holds us back from doing bodyweight exercises for the first time. Getting started, the best thing to do is dropping your ego and expectations, and know that patience is a virtue when getting used to hill running.
Hill Running is important for a variety of reasons. The variety in intensity fluctuates your heart rate and improves several components of your health:
- Aerobic Capacity
- Anaerobic Capacity
1 – Building Your Speed and Stamina.
From a sports specific and functional perspective, the muscles used in hill runs are the same you use for sprinting. So the benefits you will get from running hills are increased speed and power. The ability to accelerate fast as you begin to run. Athletes who participate in short burst sports like track and field, football or rugby, will all include this program in their fitness routine. As your heart rate is strongly tested, this will increase your stamina also upon recovery.
2 – Burn More Calories.
While running hills, we will start to respire and sweat more actively as our heart rate is increased. Due to the intensity, more energy is burned to endure the workout in a short time. This means you see the benefit in burning more calories from a single exercise. If you’re wondering why running on the treadmill for twice the duration is not seeing the results, maybe its time to switch your workout.
3 – Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness.
Your cardiovascular health and aerobic endurance will benefit from running hills. Due to the level of respiration and blood flow, your resting heart rate will be better after recovery and pump blood easier though your body. Your lungs will have more capacity to breathe better and use oxygen more effectively.
4 – Improve Your Anaerobic Fitness.
It is important to improve our anaerobic fitness as well as our aerobic fitness. Anaerobic fitness is essential for our musculoskeletal health, so we can perform activities that are enduring with our muscles, or even simple chores that are physical at home. Testing our anaerobic fitness helps to burn sugar and carbohydrates. This is something that is not utilized in Aerobic Fitness, which only burns fats. By running uphill, we test both aerobic and anaerobic systems, which target burning all fuel for weight loss.
5 – Hill Running Improves Upper Body Strength.
Hill running also meets the needs to building your muscles in the higher extremities. Running on an incline requires leverage from your arms, shoulders and core. Keeping our core in position also means our lower back needs to add support to the movement as an antagonist muscle group. This means many of the upper body muscles are improved from this exercise.
Being an avid runner, its time to start including hills in your workout. Start small and incorporate this process gradually. Take baby steps and allow time to adapt to prevent injury. Tackle the hills slowly and increase your speed over time. This fitness information was delivered by London Fitness – In Home Personal Trainer. If you have any further questions, please show your interest and the team would be happy to answer upon request.