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5252 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2012 4:20 PM by VeggieChick81
VeggieChick81 Pro 130 posts since
Jan 28, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 3, 2012 5:36 AM

Do I have to include hills into all my long marathon training runs?

Just mapping out my 18 miler for this weekend... I'd like to go a diff. route than I usually take because frankly I'm sick of the same streets and city!

BUT, the course I just mapped out is F-L-A-T.


Training for Vermont Marathon, where the only notable hill we've talked about is mile 15 that sounds long (.25 mile but not super steep??), with other smaller hills.


I try to get at least a few good sized hills into my weekly workouts. Last weeks 17 miler had one very challenging steep,long incline.


Should I rule out any more flat long runs?? I have 5 more weeks left until taper. The angel on my shoulder says, "yes, add some hills and challege those quads!", and the devil on my other shoulder says "it will be ok... go flat, enjoy the ride and work on your MP the last quarter of your run"


Always thankful for your help


"If you don't run you rust" - Tom Petty

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007

    Hills will make you stronger, but a different course might be what you need.  A change always makes my runs better.  Run your new course this week and hit your last 1/4 at your goal MP.  Good luck

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011

    Sounds like you have a good training base Linda.  I would say prepare in the final weeks with what makes you the most comfortable for the challenge.  More importantly, if the marathon route is acceptable, then go with your gut instinct about the final days before the taper.  If you are waivering between speed and endurance, keep in mind that greater effort naturally produces better results, so consider a split decision to cover the bases.  (A couple of workouts with hills, but mostly flat and fast). 


    Seems as though you are well adept for the obstacles, so best of luck!

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    A flat course is OK, though it's always nice to mix it up.  I have found that doing hill repeats on one of your regular weekday workouts produces better results.  Next week is week 12, right?  Switch Tues. and Weds. , then do hill repeats on Thurs.  So 8 M pace, 5 M run, 5M run w/hill repeats.  Find a moderate hill 1/8 to 1/4 mile long.  Do a mile or so warmup to the bottom of the hill.  Go up at or a bit faster than your training pace (the shorter the hill, the faster you can go).  Turn around and go down very easy, for recovery. Repeat as needed.  Usually the 1st one is hard, then they get a little easier. When they get hard again, it's time to do an easy mile home.  Do them weekly between now and taper if possible.




  • jjwaverly_42 Pro 388 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I've run VCM twice. It's not a flat course. Be prepared for 3-4 good sized hills (one of which is monster).

    Just let yourself get a little slower on them, you'll be fine. You don't have to overdo it with the hill training.

    Get some hills in though.



  • ctortolano Rookie 1 posts since
    Apr 5, 2012

    Hills are important but so is mixing up your route. Do the new route, and train for the hills later. Long distance running is as much a mental thing as it is physical. Little treats in training helps you keep going.

  • FootFlux Rookie 7 posts since
    Aug 13, 2010

    If you decide not to do hills as part of the long run, you should attempt to do one of your shorter days on a hilly route.


    Of course running up a hill after doing 17 miles is different than a hill after only 2 or 3 miles.

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  • Lochbain Amateur 36 posts since
    Apr 23, 2011

    I say hit the hills, but I'm also the type of person who loves the challange of going up the meanest hills I can find. Do whatever feels comfortable to you.

  • NHLA Legend 354 posts since
    Feb 23, 2012

    Try to train as close as you can to race conditions. The thing to worry about in a marathon with hills is not to blow your quads on an early downhill. I take it easy on the downhills for the first three miles then turn it loose.

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