Hill training without hills

Hi,

Anyone have any ideas on how I can simulate hill training without actually running hills? Would a raised treadmill be the way to go? I *hate* running on the treadmill, but might have to. Or, alternatively, has anyone had any success with hill running purely by doing extra hamstring exercises?

It's not that I don't enjoy running hills, it's just that there are absolutely no hills anywhere near where I usually run. After a lousy run at Windsor and very sore hamstrings I realise I do need to make some kind of a plan.

Comments

  • You could go out on realy windy days and do your intervals into the wind

    Just an idea
  • Running with the treadmill at an incline is a perfectly respectable, if boring, way of doing hill training, Ratcatcher. I tend only to "count" my treadmill intervals as hill work when the incline is over 5%, but that's a personal target rather than a figure with expert recommendation to support it. Using the stair-climbing machine might be a less stressful way of breaking your legs in to hill work, although it can be quite sore on your calves at first.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • WW
    You must be joking!
    I live on the coast - very flat but occasionally very windy, and there's no comparison between running uphill and running into the wind. They're two very different problems, and personally, I'd prefer the hill every time.
  • If it's too wet and slippery outside I do my hill training on the tread mill.
    I don't know if all mills are the same but the one I use has 'random' facility. You set the machine's incline for the maximum gradient you are prepared to go to, speed and for whatever period of time. Throughout the run the machine automatically goes up and down, forcing you to put in efforts. I like using this facility as the machine has control of your program (unless you press 'stop' of course)and it doesn't allow your body to adapt to the incline for very long.
  • If it's too wet and slippery outside I do my hill training on the tread mill.
    I don't know if all mills are the same but the one I use has 'random' facility. You set the machine's incline for the maximum gradient you are prepared to go to, speed and for whatever period of time. Throughout the run the machine automatically goes up and down, forcing you to put in efforts. I like using this facility as the machine has control of your program (unless you press 'stop' of course)and it doesn't allow your body to adapt to the incline for very long so you get a good workout.
    The wind factor?...use a fan?
  • Mike, I agree. Hills don't scare me (well, not the sort of hills that the Midlands throws at me), but I hate running into the wind. Funny thing is, most of my routes are circular but on windy days the wind is in my face throughout. How does it know where I am?
  • Thanks everyone. It looks like a treadmill it is.

    Effie - I do like the idea of your random treadmill session. That doesn't sound boring at all.

    V-rap - I do use the stair-climbing machine anyway, but not for very long or very often. I just didn't think of it as helping, but will stop avoiding it now.

    WW - thanks for the idea, but even the wind is rather scarce around here!
  • Depends on the aim for the hill training - hill training as lactate threshold intervals can be simulated by interval training on the flat.

    Hills for leg strength could possibly be substituted by a steady run followed by plyometrics or lower body weights.

    By the way, what is anyone's experience of plyometrics? I have used them intensely only once, in connection with rugby training (little different) but found quite astounding muscle exhaustion and, once recovered, amazing change in power...
  • Most treadmills have a 'hill profile' on them which are quite useful.

    There's one which has steep hill (I think its around 8%) followed by a recovery *10 so if you do 20 minutes you have 1min steep climb followed by 1 min recovery.

    Ask the instructor if you're not sure.
  • Excuse my ignorance, but what are/is plyometrics & does anybody here do fell running because I am interested in finding out the differences in training for this type of sport in relation to normal running
  • Have a look at this for examples...

    http://www.onrunning.com/plyometrics.asp

    Essentially, they're designed as expolsive exercises that strenthen your muscles - without requiring weights. Also good for balance training and form.
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