Growing up in Tennessee and living in Georgia means I’m no stranger to hill running. In fact, around ATL I struggle to find flat routes because every street seems to contain at least one serious hill. I’ve raced on hilly courses like the Atlanta Half Marathon, Music City Half Marathon and recently the Knoxville Half Marathon, but most of my races have been on flat courses. This is one of the many reasons why I love running at Walt Disney World.
If you’ve looked at my race calendar for this year then you know there are some hills in there. The San Francisco Half Marathon is going to be a doozey and so is the Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon but for different reasons.
I’ve also heard and read that hill work is speed work in disguise and I feel like that is so true.
Even though my big race goals this year are the Chicago and New York marathons, I have decided to get a head start on San Fran and Revel by adding in more hill work. Also, I figure the speedier I can be on the uphills the faster I will be on race day because both marathon courses are relatively flat. Chicago is actually pancake flat.
I am also the type of person that needs as much mental prep as physical prep, so my hope is that during the race when the hills get hard and I’m tired I will be able to push through because I can reflect on all my hill work during training.
The San Francisco Half Marathon is not a goal race, but I want to finish strong and be able to enjoy the rest of my vacation with the Mr. I also don’t want to miss a minute of the race experience. I mean, I get to run over the roadbed of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon race is a different beast entirely. The course is a downhill and I really want to race it for that reason. Salt Lake City in the fall is incredible and I can’t wait to experience it on foot. The biggest focus on this course will be to keep my body healthy and prepare my quads for the downhill.
I think as the mileage starts increasing this will be a nice refresher from all longer and longer middle distance runs. I say all this even though I have a serious love/hate relationship with hill work.
All this Thinking Out Loud is basically just to talk myself up to more hill work. 🙂
How do you incorporate hills into your training?
Do you train on hills even when the race course is flat?