Got ‘no time’ for a lengthy run? Want to burn calories? Love being sick? Embrace the hill sprint.

I have just completed my first interval session of the week, needless to say my quads are on fire, my core was burning. But I loved it.

For long distance runners, or avid gym-goers, the hill sprint has always been perceived as an unnecessarily gruelling way to get fit. But in reality, a 10 minute hill sprint session, when added into your distance, or weight program, will allow you to maximise your results.

I have long read about the physiological benefits of interval training, for which I can redirect you here, and here. Over summer I have decided to integrate the training around my other activities in order to give me a head start, and diversify my skills. Plus, it really does require minimal equipment and time.

In short, one interval session per week of explosive hill sprints, will significantly help your  longer distance running. This is because your body will begin to apply the fast high-knee drives and explosiveness, to your average run. Your leg speed will incrementally increase as you progressively overload your sprints.

Start off gently: perhaps 2-3 sets each lasting for a duration of 10 seconds. Full blown maniac running. On the following week progress to 6-8 sets, trying to keep good form with a tight core, unclenched fists, driving from the ball (not the heel) of your foot.

My session today consisted of 10 reps of 10 second sprints, it gets to around the 6-7 rep mark for the oxygen debt really to kick in and the panting ensues. However, the beauty of a hill sprint session is that it can be over and done with in an extremely short period of time! Recover on the walk back down the hill and smash out another sprint.

I also threw in some pistol-squat practice afterwards to build up that flexibility and leg-strength. Plus, they take a decent photo.


In the future, I am looking to progress up to 20 repetitions at least once a week. Ultimately, the aim is to improve my long distance pace, I feel this supplements other aspects of fitness nicely. G e t // i n v o l v e d.

Definitely one to try out, especially if your current fitness regime has become tedious, or if you want to get a work-out in, embracing the outdoors.

Disclaimer: does not take responsibility for any instances of vomiting caused by the application of this information.