Top Tips from our ambassador Andrew on hill training
If there’s one thing you’re going to have to build in to your training when preparing for the Jerusalem Marathon, it’s hill training.
Hills make up 90% of the course and by the end of this marathon you will have climbed over 700 metres of elevation. It’s tough going, but if you prepare for them, you’ll be more than ready to take on this challenge.
Hill training in general will make you a stronger, faster and fitter runner. They are such useful tools to use in your training and there are many ways you can attack hill sessions. Hill sprints are great for those short sharp bursts or you can pick an undulating route and attack the up hills whilst recovering on the downhills or vice versa. Be creative with how you use them.
Uphills are going to get your quads and glutes fired up but if you shorten your stride rather than try and match your pace on the flat then that’s a good start. Don’t even think about your pace on the hills, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving. Keep yourself upright and don’t hunch over. You’ll be at the top before you know it.
Downhills are easy to just completely take your foot off the gas and coast down. If you need the recovery then by all means, take your recovery but if you’re still fighting fit by the top of the hill then I like to put the hammer down and get my leg turnover going quick again. Try not to slow yourself down too much as this will tire the Quads out quicker. Keep yourself in control with quick leg turn over. The second your foot hits the floor, flick it back off the floor.
Mentality is everything when it comes to hills. Attack each and every hill and get yourself to the top. Try and picture each hill as a mini challenge to overcome on your way to finishing the overall run.
Hills are tough but they also carry great benefit if you use them regularly. Studies have shown that runners who regularly train on hills have increased VO2 max, lactate threshold and also increases your endurance which means when you come to running on the flat again, it will feel easier.
Try these tips out and keep climbing those hills!