As an athlete who spends his entire year in the mountains, skiing in the winter and skyrunning in the summer, Petter Engdahl knows what it takes to train the body, especially the legs, for copious amounts of elevation. As he prepares to defend his title this weekend at the 34 km with 2,700m vertical gain, Livigno SkyMarathon, Engdahl lets us in on his skyrunning workout of choice.
©MRSWS / AlexisBerg
Name of the session: Uphill intervals 2x8min + 8x4min
This is an effective workout to train the heart and lungs and make you a great uphill runner.
First of all, find a good hill for your workout. It doesn’t have to be too steep, but steep enough for you to feel the burn in your legs.
Start with an easy to moderate warm-up of 20-30 minutes. Do some strides and sprints before you start the intervals.
The 2×8 minute intervals should be below the threshold (80-85% intensity) with 2 minutes of active rest in between.
Follow this with 8×4 minute intervals (90-95% effort) with 2.5 -3 minutes of active rest between intervals.
Make sure you do a 30-minute easy-to-moderate cooldown after the intervals.
First, find some friends to do this session with. This will make it easier, funnier and you will be able to push each other more!
Pace yourself in the beginning. You should be able to have the same pace and intensity for each interval.
Take a sports drink or energy bar with you during the intervals and take care of your recovery after the session so that you are ready for the next one.
Enjoy the hard work, relax and be proud of yourself afterwards!