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Speed Kills
RE: Mr. Renato Canova: Could You Please Answer a Question About Effective Ways to Improve the Lactate Threshold?
About the size of hills and sprinting (or sprint speed)...

This is what Clyde Hart (Michael Johnson's--and Wariner's--coach) says:

"3. Strength Endurance This workout involves activities that will last longer than 10 seconds in duration. Such activities will include resistance running, Iong hill running and stadium step runs.

Examples of Strength Endurance Workouts
a) 6 x 150 meter hill
b) 6 x 60 stadium steps
c) 6 x 15 second duration long rope runs

5. Power Speed This workout emphasizes speed of muscle contraction. This is usually done with less than 10 repetitions and no more than 10 seconds per repetition.

Examples of Power Speed
a) short hill runs of about 60 meters
b) 10 x 30 meter harness runs
c) 10 x 10 second fast rope jumps

Percentage of Emphasis Chart For Workouts
{don't know if this table is going to format correctly}

Types of Workouts Fall Early Mid Late
Speed Endurance 75 90 100 100
Tempo Endurance 100 100 100 75
Strength Endurance 100 90 80 70
Endurance Running 100 20 10 5
Power Speed 20 60 70 80
Event Runs 25 90 100 100
Power Speed 20 60 70 80
Strength 100 100 100 100"

You can see that Hart says to do long hills in decreasing emphasis and short (steep) hills in increasing emphasis as the season progresses.

In my own training, I use a 150-200 meter stretch (normally 175 meters) of a 200 meter hill for general prep phase only. Clyde Hart says to do 6 X 150m, and I use 3-5 X 175m (same volume). I am also doing accelerations out of blocks (20 meters first week, up to 50 meters last week, ~200 meters total volume each week) on the track during this period. My times for sprinting up this hill go from 37-38 seconds (first workout) down to 31-33 seconds (last workout). At the end of the hill workouts, my 30 meter acceleration time is about 3.65 (self timed), but my 200 meter time on the track (no prior speed endurance on the track) was only about 27 right after the long hills in 31-33 for 175 meters @ 30% grade. This is for very early in the season, so the speed endurance times go down 10-15% with training.

I'll have some comments about the overspeed (downhill runnning) when I have the time.

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