So for a lot of runners I know, hills aren’t exactly their idea of a good time! If you’re a runner that’s obsessed with pace then you probably aren’t a fan of hills either.
I don’t exactly have a Paula Radcliffe marathon time, but I definitely smashed my own personal goal time the first time I made the 26.2 mile treck – and I put that down to hill training!
Hills really increase your endurance, start by gradually increasing the inclines on your run up every few weeks, you will soon feel the steepest hills becoming much more comfortable to get up. The key thing is not to race up them or even to maintain the speed you hold on the flats, personally, I try to keep my heart rate the same which often means plodding up the hills rather slow.
Adding hills into your run training also cerates variety and intensity – improving your endurance, anaerobic capacity, speed, power and overall run strength.
More hills definitely equals stronger legs, which in turn means more speed. If you improve your speed over time running at an incline, just wait to see the results when you hit the flats!
It’s also much kinder on your body as it has a reduced impact on the lower leg bones, ankle and knee joints. This is because your produce less landing impact when running up a hill. Obviously this isn’t the case running downhill – so be gently until your body adapts!
I hope this convinced you to add some hills into your marathon training – I promise it’s actually more fun then tempo sessions and from my own experience, much more rewarding!