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Old Forum Which energy pathways do hill sprints use?

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Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
Just curious having read the StrongFirst Roadwork and Strength Aerobics articles as to which of the three energy pathways (alactacid, glycolytic or aerobic) a hill sprint workout might use? I'm keen to better understand the science behind different forms of conditioning.

For example, if I use a moderately steep, 80 metre hill from bottom to top which takes me about 10-15 seconds to sprint up with maximal effort, and perform 5-7 sprints with a 30-45 second jog back to the bottom between sprints, which pathway(s) is being used here?

Thanks in advance for any replies everyone!
 

Journeyman

Level 6 Valued Member
By definition, if each spring is an all-out 10-15 seconds, alactic capacity.

Alactic power would be full recovery between sets.

Lactic capacity would be roughly 30-60 second sprints with incomplete recovery... power would be full recovery.

Your aerobic system will start to take over whenever you're not expending enough effort to 'push' your phosphogen/glycogen systems. And 'aerobic' is a huge range.

Mike Perry or Al Ciampa are our resident ESD experts.

Alex Viada, Lyle Mcdonald, Mike Robertson, and Joel Jamieson are good sources to look at.
 

Mikeperry

Level 6 Valued Member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
at first glance, you look like you are trying to use an galactic capacity template. Your recovery seems a bit rushed though. Here's the key with AC work.

 

1. Use a metric- time yourself on the run. If it takes 10 seconds to get to the top in an all out sprint, it won't be repeatable. You should aim to repeat the sprint at around 85% of your max, in this case 8.5 seconds. Start with :90 recovery and slowly decrease it over time but ALWAYS hit 8.5 sprint.

 
 

Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks for the replies so far guys, plenty of info!

Mike, just to clarify, when you say start with ':90 recovery', I assume you mean 90 seconds? Then aim to decrease the recovery time between sprints whilst keeping the time I perform the sprints in the same (in your example, 8.5 seconds)?
 

Mikeperry

Level 6 Valued Member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Yes 90 seconds. It may take longer, it may be shorte,r but when you are starting to train in this fashion, less is more. Eventually, I get my fighters to the point where they can perform an exercise for :15, recover for :55 and repeat several times. The biggest mistakes people make with energy system work is  never assessing the client and not using a HR monitor. Metrics are key!
 
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