With another UK Lockdown comes another series of training challenges from Coach Matt Yates and The Run Yard.
Races are on hold, but working hard, getting fit and improving yourself as a runner is not. Each Thursday throughout the third UK Lockdown Coach Matt will be setting you, the SOAR X TRY Training Community, a new challenge designed to develop different elements of running fitness, race craft and your own training expertise.
When races return it'll be PB's all round!
The training challenges will be tailored to accommodate all abilities, from those new to structured training to seasoned racers. Whilst we encourage you to join the SOAR X TRY Training WhatsApp Group HERE to share your experiences, tips, questions and training tales with the community.
Each week Coach Matt will be awarding a SOAR Prize to the one person who has approached and completed the session in the way which impresses him the most. To be in with a chance of winning share your session on Instagram tagging @the_run_yard and @soar_running or share your performance with the community in the WhatsApp Group.
Session 5.0 - SOAR Hills
Over to coach Matt -
"Hills. The greats of the sport all do them and they all do them in different ways. Going uphill or 'running hills' has played a part in training and racing folklore for decades. Be it Boston’s Heartbreak Hill, Coe’s Richmond Hill, Lydiard’s Hills or the famous Parliament Hill Cross Country.
Hills are an awesome way to challenge yourself and really connect with who you are as a runner, in particularly in terms of your form. In this week's hill session you are going to work on muscle groups and mechanics which are often overlooked.
Doing hill sessions in the right way doesn’t mean hitting every rep as hard as you can. We want to go in to the challenge thinking 'legs, arms, core and biomechanics'. Striving to get all of these working in a linear form, increasing power and over exaggerating your running form. Helping improve your form at all speeds.
Also hill sessions can serve as a transition into formal speed work in certain phases of your training. But perhaps most importantly for me, they offer a great way to enjoy the challenge of running throughout winter, offering a fun alternative to track work.
For this week's hill session I want you to focus on a few key points:
Running form. Keeping it linear, driving upwards at an angle to your hill.
BIG Arms. With your hips pushed up to bring a powerful leg drive and knee lift to attack the hill.
We use artificial hills in the Olympic Park, use whatever hills you have is in your local environment, but be make sure they are safe from traffic and check for any hazards. It's important not to use grass or park hills so we can minimise the risk of slipping and a subsequent injury. Look for a decent surface with good traction.
Right, on to the session......You need to find a hill that is about 120m to 150m long, and you don’t want it too steep, all excessive steepness does is over exaggerate your running action too much, bringing little benefit. You want a hill on a nice gradient that will increase your knee lift slightly and present enough of a challenge that you can get up it at a good pace.
Do the SOAR mobility warm up before the challenge - join the WhatsApp group and we'll share the video - followed by a 7-12 minute jog.
Then on your chosen hill pick a starting point. It could be a gateway it could be a lamp post or it could be the famous dog poo bin on Primrose Hill, used by many a SOAR hill session.
We will be using time rather than a set distance for this challenge and the pace you go uphill at is like doing a fast a stride in a pre-race warm up, but focusing intently on running technique and form.
Beginner Runners 4 to 7 x 20 seconds effort uphill with a recovery of 80 seconds walk/jog back to the start and repeat
Intermediate Runners 8 to 12 x 30 seconds effort uphill with a recovery of 70 seconds walk/jog back to the start and repeat
Seasoned Racers 11 to 16 x 30 seconds effort uphill with a recovery of 70 seconds walk/jog back to the start and repeat
Remember the focus here is not about how far you can get in the allotted effort time, but rather the exaggerated form of driving BIG Arms, high knees and leg drive. Believe me you will feel this challenge in the closing reps if you are doing it right!
After the challenge warm down by jogging for 4 to 7 minutes at a nice, easy pace."