For those who want to seriously train in long distance running or for people who are looking to lose weight, incline jogging is one of the training routines that they can adopt to improve their running performance. Incline jogging refers to running on a treadmill while it is set to an inclination, or running on the road with a hilly terrain. Unlike running on a flat surface, incline jogging creates additional demands to the runner that helps in drastically improving performance than if one were to simply remain training on a flat surface.
The biomechanics of incline jogging indicates that the body has to work harder when running at an incline than on a flat surface. This is very obvious if you’ve tried running on hills. The inclination fires up extra muscle groups that are minimally used when running on a flat surface. The major muscles in running also get an extra boost with incline jogging as quads need to support a higher leg height in-stride while the hamstrings need to kick back harder to overcome the force of gravity that pulls the runner back.
Incline jogging becomes a truly effective workout option when paired in combination with other workout routines. For runners, adding 1 to 2 degrees of inclination to a typical run will help develop the resistance necessary to overcome the normal undulations of the road and compensate for wind resistance common in outside running. It is also recommended to adopt an exclusive incline jogging routine once every two weeks where the inclination is maxed out to make it a hill-workout.
Here are two examples of hill workouts that are useful in helping a jogger improve his performance:
On a treadmill, set the inclination to 5 degrees and the speed to a number that you are most comfortable running at with the incline. For intermediate runners, the recommended numbers are 5-degrees incline at 8.5 km/hr. Run this program at tempo for at least 45 minutes without rest.
On a hill, one can do repetitive hill sprints to build hill endurance. Find a hill that is about 100-meters in total distance from the foot to the crest. Sprint your way from the base to the crest and then jog back down slowly while you recover your breath. Repeat up to 12 times. Do this work out again at least every two weeks.
Incline jogging is an effective workout option but only when done properly. It is not recommended to always run with an incline as this can also condition certain muscles to just run hills but perform poorly on a flat surface. Proper balance in incline jogging means that a runner should regularly add a few degrees of inclination to tempo workouts and then add hill sprints outdoors every two weeks. In between, a 1-degree inclination will work best with base workouts while sprints should be done on an absolutely flat surface, perhaps on a well-designed track.
With the extra exertion necessary and the additional muscles that are being fired during incline jogging, there is plenty of value to be had in this exercise regimen. Use it to your best advantage by incorporating it into your workouts and you can begin to see drastic improvements in performance within a few short weeks of running on an inclined surface.