The Path to Marathon Success - Hill Work
by Benji Durden

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Hill Work

The schedule on Tuesdays calls for hill workouts, which are designed to build muscular and cardiovascular strength in preparation for the faster training you'll do later on the track. This phase of hill runs lasts for six weeks. Ideally, the hill you choose for this workout should have about a 4 to 6 percent grade and take about 90 seconds to run. It's a good idea to find a hill that takes a bit longer than 90 seconds to run at first, since you'll get faster as you gain fitness.

For the first workout, warm up 20 minutes (20 wup/wdn) and then run uphill for 90 seconds at about the same effort as your tempo run pace. You should be breathless by the time you hit 90 seconds. When you've run for 90 seconds, notice where you are and jog back to where you started. Turn around and repeat the uphill run five times. If you started out at a reasonable effort, you should be able to get to the same spot or farther in 90 seconds on all six uphill runs. If you can't, start slower the next time you run hills. Follow the hill runs with a 20-minute warmdown (20 wup/wdn). Later in the schedule, the warm-up and warm-down times increase slightly.

If you live in a flat area of the country, don't despair. Improvise by running up a bridge, up a ramp to a multistory parking lot or on sand--any surface that takes extra effort and leaves you a little breathless after about 90 seconds. You can also run on a treadmill that has an adjustable incline feature. Kim Jones does nearly all of her hill workouts on her treadmill to eliminate the stress of running downhills.

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Credits: Text copyright 1996 by Benji Durden

This article has informational purpose and  isn't a substitute for professional advice.

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