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Those who train on the climbs and the slopes go stronger in the race
halt Many runners of medium and long distances who occasionally work on wavy paths find difficulty in the race when the road tends to climb, to keep the rhythm of the opponents. In many cases the explanation is to be found in the scarce space that the training courses based on the uphill race find in the training plans.
Yet through the uphill race you can make progress that is more difficult to reach with other training systems. The reason is very simple: Running uphill, the athlete needs to lift his body as well as push it forward. This is a commitment that results in a significant increase in energy resources resulting in increased heart rate. Thus, some physiological parameters increase, first the increase in VO2 max is determined and the anaerobic threshold is raised.
It has happened to each of us to test, even when we are well trained, as the first uphill training courses accompany the persistent muscle aches already present during the race and that in the next two days become stronger.
It has already been shown how the athlete expresses a different muscular action than the one that manifests in the plane stroke and therefore the muscular pains are nothing other than the result of an action to which the muscles are not trained.
In addition to a different stroke action, muscle aches are also attributed to a different intervention, within the same muscle, of muscle fibers. In fact, with respect to the plane, when running uphill, the pale fibers, especially the intermediate ones, with the same heart rate, intervene in greater quantities.
Since climbing is needed, for each push, to resort to greater muscular engagement, a higher percentage of pale fibers will intervene in the technical gesture at the expense of those slow. Such intermediate fibers, thanks to the adaptations determined by upward racing, increase their concentration of mitochondria, becoming more resistant to stress. At the same time, red fibers, as a result of the induced effects of training, gain greater strength.
To summarize, the athlete who trains with some continuity on challenging routes will be able to extrude, after a period of adaptation, higher strength values ​​at the same duration of effort as a result of the fast-moving induced improvement of fast fibers More durable and lenses that gain greater strength.
In technical terms, one speaks of an athlete capable of expressing greater strength-strength, that force, that is, that allows the muscle to perform for a large number of times a gesture that requires strength levels far from the maximum ones that it is Capable of muscle, but essential to be able to complete a marathon without falling in pace.
Strength can also be trained in the gym with the help of isotonic machines, or even with natural charge through circuit training, but with these training tools it is necessary to make the static muscle force transform into dynamics.
This kind of problem does not arise when you run uphill as the muscular action itself is in itself dynamic.
Additionally, muscle strengthening work, with the exception of uphill racing, may create some ailments such as tendinitis, pubalgia, periostitis, without mentioning problems that may arise for the spine.
For the athlete who exhibits low muscular strength, it is advisable to place both training tools in the training program that solicit strength.
Thanks to the climbs, it improves its race mechanics markedly; For this reason too, those who train on challenging routes realize, with respect to the past, significant improvements in terms of loans.
Observing an athlete running uphill, you notice clearly how the flight phase has a reduced duration compared to what you have when you run flat. The reason should be interpreted by the fact that uphill tends to take a shorter step, with a pitch rate that, at the same speed, is higher, while the feet are snap to the ground.
This is probably why after a series of uphill racing sessions, the racer running flat has increased the pace of the pitch.
But even the runner who prefers the pitch pitch frequency, working uphill, thanks to increased strength-resistance, will be in the conditions to increase the length of the pitch by achieving a cheaper and more thrilling ride. When the uphill trails alternate with downhill sections, they force the rider to shorten and open his stride.
Knowing how to use in the action of amplitude and frequency, thanks to the different sensations acquired with the use of the feet, is of paramount importance when dealing with races of different lengths.
This type of workout can be done throughout the year but certainly in an annual work plan it is best placed in the winter months, from November to February, and can be reintegrated in April with the feature of "recall "To maintain the muscular efficiency gained in previous months.
Even during the agonistic season, some uphill racing sessions can be inserted when you have the feeling of having lost the best form and muscle brilliance.
According to a distinction recognized by all coaches, the climbs are subdivided into five subtypes:
- The short climbs.
- The average climbs
- Long climbs
- Very long climbs
- The climbs that strengthen the strength - resistance
The short climbs
The short climbs can range from 50 to 100 meters and should be made on somewhat accentuated slopes, up to 17-20%.

The duration of the effort is between 10 and 20 ". The number and duration are in line with the athlete's level, however, in general, the trials vary from 10 to 20 and the recovery is rather long, from 1 ', 30 to 2', since the commitment to make The trials will have to be almost a ceiling. The most advanced athlete will complete the session with a few miles of medium-intensity run.
Average climbs
The average climbs range from 150 to 500 meters.

This is a particularly challenging workout from a physiological and muscular point of view that results in a significant production of acid lactate. The gradient must be less pronounced than the one of the short climbs, between 7 and 10%, while recoveries will necessarily have to be shorter: the time taken to carry out the fast work more 15, 20 ".
The long climbs
The long climbs can range between 600 and 1000 meters. The slopes on which to do this type of sitting are not particularly demanding and vary between 5 and 8% .

In this way athletes will be able to develop a good running speed despite traction difficulties. This is a type of workout that needs to be alternated with fractional work done on a plan. Therefore, it is good to put them into training plans with a fortnightly frequency and never in the periods of approaching the races because they always leave traces of fatigue in the muscles. The recoveries will necessarily be higher than those scheduled for repeatedly performing planes with the same distance and never lower than 4 '.
The long climbs
Very long climbs ranged between 3 and 10 kilometers, with sloping slopes, around 4 -5%.
Very long climbs can be addressed in various ways.
During the construction phase the climbs should be used primarily as a means to increase the strength-resistance, for this reason they must be tackled at a not particularly demanding pace, but paying close attention to the thrust of the feet accompanied by a good action of the quadriceps.
At the next stage of preparation, the rhythm will be emphasized.

Different is how the workout can be structured. You can start with slow running and increase the rhythm until you reach a ten-kilometer race. Alternatively, you can divide the path along a series of traits to alternate, at a slow pace and at a pace close to the threshold values.
Finally, you can use the route to make a short, five-six-kilometer seat, near a 10-kilometer race. It is therefore a very challenging workout to deal with when a satisfactory shape condition is achieved, as the athlete will reach heart rate values ​​at some times above the threshold. This training should also be done away from the agonistic period and at a frequency of three weeks.
It turns out that the long running session, if well performed, is one of the most effective means of achieving an improvement in aerobic power. The overall length of the session should nevertheless exceed the running time.
Uphill work to improve strength-resistance
Work must be done on demanding climbs of 150 to 200 meters by performing a racing action that involves a wider step than the usual one and therefore a greater push of the foot. This type of work is especially useful for athletes who have the short step.

For some time it has been stated that muscle strengthening is greater when the muscle works in elongation, its ends, in other words, tend to move away from each other. Just downhill, there is a sort of braking of the body that falls from above through the elongation of quadricipites and suric trichipits.
Unfortunately, the downhill race must be carried out with extreme caution and only by athletes who have no problem with the skeletal muscle.
The reason is very simple, after the flying phase the runner's lower limb undergoes intense stress on the ligamentous, tendon and articular structures. The trauma is all the more so in the downhill race the higher the height from which the body's center of gravity drops each time.
It is therefore essential that the athlete who intends to practice this kind of training performs a good heating and shoes socks with high damping power.
The downhill section should never exceed 4 to 5 kilometers. The pace will need to be fast, paying particular attention to the pitch amplitude as much as possible.
The session is completed by performing on the same stretch the uphill race at a midrange pace and, for the most advanced athletes, the uphill section can be tackled with a similar fast-track engagement. What is fundamental to this kind of training is to face the downhill and then the ascent, since by doing the opposite, the athlete is already tired from a muscular point of view and it would be difficult to keep it satisfactorily 'Amplitude of its pace.
Written by Piero Colangelo - source:
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