02 May Get Specific To Get Faster
Get Specific to Get Faster
This is going to be short and sweet. I was talking to a sprinter the other day about running hills to increase his power and speed. He told me how he purposely shortened his stride while he did uphill running.
I guess in his head this helped him work on his leg strength and become more powerful.
Every strength and conditioning or fitness professional wants to run their mouth about how strength training needs to be completely sports specific. So they argue about some crap like pelvis position during the squat or clean but then ignore that their athletes are slacking off when they do resisted or assisted runs.
You tell me you’re shortening your stride basically making it into a fast jog to get more work in, I tell you you’re lazy because giving it all you got as you run up a hill is freakin hard.
After the conversation with the sprinter, I thought about what Yuri Verkhoshansky, author of Special Strength Training, says in his writings. He contends that if you change up your running mechanics at all when you run up hills you will not reap any benefits. He explains how you will basically “waste energy” if you shorten your stride and turn it into more of a jog and make it a “low efficiency” task. He also explains why not running as if you would in a normal sprint sucks in other technical terms but I’m not willing to get a headache trying to explain it.
So, Jesse’s random tip of the day – that he stole from someone smarter than him – if you opt to use uphill running to build speed, make sure you swing your trailing leg actively and forcefully as you run up the hill (just as you were sprinting on flat ground) and stop the activity when you can no longer keep these mechanics. Slowing down and jogging up the hill won’t help.
Got an opinion? Leave it in the comments.