Friday, April 3, 2009

Cruise Hills

As I continue to work my self back into racing shape, I look for workouts which are challenging and hopefully will make me faster.

Today’s workout is the first in a series of workouts designed to do just that.

Today’s workout is what I call cruise hills. They are similar to cruise intervals but are run on dirt trails 400 to 800 meters long. The purpose of the workout is stress the body while focusing on running form. Things like keeping the head up(looking up the hill) instead of down at the hill (i.e. just a few feet in front of your feet), working the arms to help drive the legs forward, and lifting the knees high while keeping the stride short. The idea here is to increase my leg turn over.

Overall, these hills help strengthen the legs and improve the running economy.

The other facet of cruise hills that is most important to discuss is pace. Like the adjective “cruise” suggest, the pace for these hills is not all out. I typically run these hills at about 75%. Here’s a test to determine if you are running them too fast. Listen to your breathing. If it is extremely labored, then you are running them too fast and probably your form is starting to fall off. Form should be the most important because it is the running motion that you will most likely want to replicate during a race.

So remember, this is not all out workout. There are other workouts to address this shear speed. Cruise hills help strengthen the body and improve the running economy. Then, when you are in that up coming race and hit that hill, your body will run it exactly like you practiced just faster because you are in a race.

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