RAMP UP YOUR SPRINT TRAIN­ING!

Australian Natural Bodz - - Train Smart -

Ijust love stud­ies like this. I like to call them the “Duh” stud­ies as the end re­sults are some­what bla­tantly pre­dictable, but it’s al­ways good have a lit­tle science come into play. Ap­par­ently run­ning on flat sur­faces is not the op­ti­mal way to de­velop your sprint­ing ca­pac­ity. You’ll de­velop your ex­plo­sive speed faster if you train on a hill, the Athe­nian sports sci­en­tist Gior­gos Par­a­di­sis dis­cov­ered some years ago. In 2006 Par­a­di­sis pub­lished the re­sults of an experiment in­volv­ing 35 male stu­dents. The stu­dents in the con­trol group [C] did no train­ing for the 6 weeks the experiment lasted. The other stu­dents trained 3 times a week, run­ning a dis­tance of 80 me­tres 6-8 times. The stu­dents rested for 10 min­utes be­tween sprints. Some of the stu­dents only trained up­hill [U]. Oth­ers trained only down­hill [D]. Yet another group trained on the hor­i­zon­tal [H], and the last group trained both up­hill and down­hill [U+D]. Par­a­di­sis used an ar­ti­fi­cial hill for the train­ing. To give you an idea: the test sub­jects in the U+D group ran from left to right and cov­ered a to­tal dis­tance of 80 me­tres. The up­hill and down­hill slopes of the hill had a gra­di­ent of 3 de­grees. At the end of the 6 weeks, the max­i­mum speed [MRS] the stu­dents de­vel­oped had in­creased most in the U+D group. This was mainly be­cause the stu­dents had in­creased the num­ber of steps per sec­ond they could take. Their step rate [SR] had in­creased. Par­a­di­sis sus­pects that the sud­den tran­si­tion from up­hill to down­hill run­ning is the main fac­tor in the suc­cess of the U+D train­ing. “Dur­ing up­hill run­ning, par­tic­i­pants ex­pe­ri­enced a re­sis­tive stim­u­lus, fol­lowed by a nor­mal stim­u­lus (hor­i­zon­tal), and then a fa­cil­i­ta­tive stim­u­lus (down­hill)”, the re­searcher writes. “Dur­ing the first stim­u­lus, the neu­ro­mus­cu­lar sys­tem was over­loaded, whereas im­me­di­ately af­ter­ward it was pro­gres­sively un­loaded (hor­i­zon­tal - down­hill). It seems that this rapid tran­si­tion from the first stim­u­lus to the sec­ond, from over­loaded to fa­cil­i­ta­tive, ben­e­fited the neu­ro­mus­cu­lar sys­tem. The im­me­di­ate tran­si­tion from the over­load sta­tus to the fa­cil­i­tated sta­tus seems to be the key fac­tor to the train­ing adap­ta­tion.” In lay­men’s terms, run­ning on a hill is much bet­ter for you than run­ning on a flat sur­face! I love science!

Ref­er­ence: J Strength Cond Res. 2006 Nov; 20(4): 767-77.

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