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In Defense of the Hill Repeat | Boddicker Performance

Filed under: coaching, Program Design, Running

In Defense of the Hill Repeat

by on Sep 15th, 2009

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While much can be made about the specificity of hill running to the predominantly track athlete, an equally substantial argument can be made in favor of the hill repetition session in a cross country or road racing athlete.  As many of these courses contain significant grades, it is, indeed, quite specific to train the body to propel itself at angles associated with hill running.

This is an application of the SAID Principle, plain and simple.  If you need to run well up hills, then you need to train on hills, but in my mind that’s about where it stops.

Sure, you could make the argument that it is similar enough to running that it will transfer and the metabolic engagements are powerful, but is it really the case?  Can you not get a similar metabolic benefit while training in good  mechanics and developing motor control?  The question you must ask yourself is this: “What am I giving my athletes in a hill session that I can’t get elsewhere?”

Metabolic effects?  Nope.  Mechanical improvements?  Likely not the right ones.  Strength training?  Weight room.  Appropriate motor control strategies?  Depends.


Carson Boddicker

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