Improve your running with… Kenyan Hills

The Kenyan Hills session is essentially continuous hills where you should work hard both on the up and down section of the hill. Its name, Kenyan Hills, comes from the incredible strength and speed of Kenyan distance runners who are said to use this sessions as a key part of their training.

Kenyan hill training involves running up and down a fairly steep gradient continuously for 5 minutes then having a jog recovery before repeating the same again. Gradually build up to 3 sets of 5 minutes or a set of 10 min and a set of 5min.

Sounds hard you may be thinking (or know from experience ) so if you need some convincing here are some of the ways the session will improve your running.

Firstly running any sort of hill training helps to improve your leg strength and power which helps you get stronger at running both on the hills and on the flat where the extra strength from hill sessions should benefit your speed.
Secondly if you have ever raced up a hill only to get to the top with jelly legs barely able to shuffle forwards or if you overtake runners on the hill only to have them whip back past you at the top as you run out of steam Kenyan hills may be the answer. The session helps train you to keep going beyond the top of the hill as you push to keep the effort going on the downhill too. It helps you to learn to pace yourself on tough continuous hills helping you to adjust your effort to be strong up the hill and to continue to run strong after the hill too. It also helps you to get use to running fast downhill which is an important part of a hilly race-what goes up must come down.
Finally although there is still some debate of the exact mechanics of what goes on in the muscles basically when you run hard you muscles accumulate lactic acid, that burning feeling in your legs after a steep hill. This eventually causes us to tire and slow down. However by running efforts you become more effective at coping and getting rid of lactic acid meaning you can run further and faster for longer.

Have fun and let me know how you get on…:-)

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