Question about speed/hill sessions (rests)

My question relates to the rest periods between reps/sets.

Such as my todays hill work:

Hill Work 4x(4x40m) 4.5/10 min

Those ten minute waits inbetwee sets were a long time. Actually, all together it was a long wait. I’m on the 4th week, of an eight week GPP.

I’m not really arguing against it, it just seems like really long waits. Is everyone else doing these waits? Also, does anyone else see it as a long wait?

I can understand your feeling,expecially if you usually was training in a classic way( short rest,high volumes ecc ecc).
But that’s the right way…longer rest are necessary for mainting a quite high intensity.

Any wait over 2 mins and I will usually do some little dynamic activity or else Ill get back cold, also to keep me occupied

Why not though in some abdominal exercises in ther rest!

10 minutes why not 200-500 chinnies

They are A’s on the ground

That’s an awful lot if people are using good form and doing full pull-ups.

Chinnies are an abdominal exercise shown in Charlies GPP DVD

Hmmm-I stand corrected?

That waiting period may not be necessary because in GPP you can’t tax your CNS that badly. I think the recoveries for the GPP video for hill sprints are shorter.

I’d maybe go walkdown recovery or no more than 2 mins between reps and perhaps 4-5 between sets.

In GPP, you don’t need as much recovery as you suggest. I typically do a slow walk back between reps and then a longer rest with some ab work between sets.

I try to run these close to full speed, but it’s uphill in training shoes on grass, so it doesn’t seem as taxing as full speed efforts in spikes on a track.

A couple of minutes between reps should be enough unless the intensity is very high, which probably isn’t what you’re after in GPP anyway.

I changed the workout yesterday becasue of the rain and the wet grass - exchanged the hills for harness runs same distance with job back - and the athletes said it was just as demanding.


The athletes can’t tell you how demanding till the next day. The higher the intensity, the longer the feedback curve, even in GPP. Just because it feels harder doesn’t mean it IS harder.

Sorry, Charlie, what do you mean by this?

Are all the hill runs to be done at athletes max speed?
When times increase should you stop at that point (or is the purpose of the hill runs more on running technique)?

What grade of a slope is best?

What if an athlete pukes (I try to avoid the outcome at all times, I do not ever run guys until they puke) (tried longer rest breaks (8-10 min) / fore head gets ice cold and he gets dizzy) (60’s were the worst / 40’s not bad)
I am trying to stop him before he gets to that point, but it has happened 3 times. Seems to come on suddenly. I do not think he hydrates very well (not sure if that would contribute)?

What age of an athlete would you introduce hill runs to? (Would it depend on the slope / distance / purpose)

For team sport athletes using your 7 week outline what kind of volumes should I use, and how many times a week?

When else during the training year (other than the GPP) would hill runs be beneficial to team sport athletes?

Hydration and nutrition are REALLY important. He is probably eating junk food pre-workout. This is very common these days. Would you expect a Ferrari run with urine in the tank. You should really take a long talk about proper nutrition with your athletes if you want them to succeed in their endeavors.

Because of the purpose of the hill runs (mainly acceleration mechanics) you would introduce hill runs early on. The distances should be built up from 10m or so. Total volume is highly individual, probably starting from anywhere between 100-300m per workout and as seen on the dvd can rise to over 600m.

Hope this helps.

The grade is not steep at all. This is covered in CF’s GPP DVD, but I think it’s less than 10% and they are run near max but not max. I just started on my GPP, and I start with 10x10, 10x20 and 10x30, using a slow walk-back recovery between reps and longer between sets. After a week, I switch to 4x5x40 hills. I never time any of this work. It’s on grass, on a hill, in flats, in sweats, in weather that’s often not very good, so I don’t see much point in timing. I do hills 3x a week early in GPP and then down to 1x by the end. Volume is about 600 meters. I think you could do this with any athlete. Can’t see why this would make you sick unless the recovery was too short, hills too steep or too long. I don’t do hills at other times of the year, but I do use an isorobic exerciser when I do acceleration work during SPP and sometimes during the competitive season. Before I had that equipment, I used a slight hill or headwind to get the resistance. Tried a parachute for awhile, but I wouldn’t recommend it – only works OK in calm conditions.

Regarding throwing up, i used to have this problem as well. Nutrition wasn’t a problem (junk food has always made me sick so i don’t eat it) and i was well hydrated (although living in the high desert (7500’) probably made this less certain). I ended up just growing out of it, so to speak. It might be psycho-sematic, athlete believes that working hard = throwing up…i used to think this way

One of the problems I had was the grade of the hill. Well over 10%, too steep increasing the work load maybe into lactic training, where we have done little work.
The reason I chose the hill slope I did, is that a majority (all but 2-3) of the athletes I work with during acceleration work step out with the front foot and the shin angle is straight up (they pull not push). I did not want them thinking so much about mechanics, so I thought a steeper slope would force them to keep the foot behind the knee longer because of the grade of the hill. However, it probably does not allow some athletes to relax, as they have to push harder.
My rest intervals are 5-6 min between reps, and 10 min between sets. The weather here in edmonton has been ok and has not been a factor.
How can I go about helping these athletes with proper acceleration positions without delaying learning (paralysis by analysis)?

Most people drastically overestimate the grade of the hill. I saw a road that said a “6% grade trucks gear down” and it was a very steep hill!

You can feel pretty good afterwards and yet know you had a tough workout - or even wake up stiff the next morning. If you mix the workout with diminished rests or fill what should be a rest interval with work beyond that which will keep you warm, you guarantee that you won’t achieve the intensity levels you intended.