This article was published on February 11th, 2013
Hill training is an essential part of preparing for a marathon. It builds strength and resistance. It’s been used by runners for decade to increase endurance, speed and strength.
“Find hill about 400 metres in length, with an incline of 8-10 percent,” said Running Room owner and CEO, John Stanton, recommending the ideal type of hill for training. “Prior to starting the hill session, include a warm up of easy running and light stretching.”
Hill training should be a consistent effort maintained throughout the session, rather than focusing on the pace of the hill. Perfecting running form is critical.
“Keep your chest up and out, with your breathing relaxed,” coached John Stanton. “Your arm movements in rhythm with that of your leg turn over rate. Keep your eyes focused on the top of the hill, just as they would be focused in front of you on a flat stretch.”
Shorter strides should be taken as the incline gets steeper. Throughout hill training you will learn how to pace hills, which builds lower leg strength.
“Think of hills as speed work in disguise,” joked John Stanton. “You build strength and character both useful on race day.”