i'm amazed wrote:
totally amazed that you can move your legs quickly up a 30% grade.
tell me is this with a 6 foot or a 10 foot stride?
seriously... and if so can you tell me your secret.
I use a lot of downhill strides of 100-150m. This is best done barefoot on grass (even in the winter, if not too cold). I believe Frank Horwill said that many mistakenly think you can improve speed only a little and only by making your stride longer. But a Russian sprint coach (cannot remember his name) according to Horwill started using slight downhill grades for training and his athletes, after sprinting down several times, sprinted on the flat with stride frequencies 17% odd faster than before using downhills. So you can tinker with your stride. John Kellogg says to use a downhill so slight you do not notice it going down but would notice going up that it is a hill.
This and "Technical Exercises" or form drills (the classic types; high knees, quick steps) and other "rhythm drills" (Joe Rubio I believe elicited a response from a sprint coach about using repetitions of 12-30 stairs for increasing rhythm at top end speed, which he said gave the greatest gains in basic speed for distance runners) can also help with this.
As for employing quick stride freqency up a ramp, it is more of a necessity. On any uphill you shorten your stride naturally. Up extremely steep hills this is exaggerated. I found that out of necessity I had to stay on the balls of the feet (my heels never touched the ground, making the stride cycle fractionally quicker each stride multiplied by however many strides per sprint) and lift the knees very high just to avoid scuffing the feet into the next part of the hill. Same thing with driving the arms, which is of course a "cue" (word of that same sprint coach) for moving the feet faster. Ask Michael Johnson. So my legs were moving fast, but my absolute speed was not so fast (20-25 meters in about 5-6 seconds, or 24-25 seconds per 100, or 6:24-6:40 mile pace). Naturally, I can sprint faster than 6:24 mile pace in all-out sprint on flat or downhill land, so even the fast rhythm did not prevent a big slow down in absolute speed on such a steep grade.