Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why do I pick routes with hills?

**Conquer Saturday's 10 mile route**

Check back later this week of Saturday's 10 mile route. The route does NOT have hills, but does have slight inclines at miles 2, 6, 8.

I know "hill" is a four-letter word for runners. However, hill training is necessary! Most marathons have a hill that will kick your butt if you aren't used to the incline.

The Boston Marathon is famous for Heartbreak Hill. The Pittsburgh Marathon has Cardiac Hill. During the Akron Marathon you have a 1.7 mile incline from miles 16-18. This hill is affectionately called, Rally in the Valley. At mile 22 you hit, Heart Rate Hill, which spikes your heart rate higher than any other part of the course.

So, do you think hill training is necessary? ABSOLUTELY!!! If you are prepared for hills you won't have to work so hard. You'll be physically and mentally prepared. Also, training on hills makes flatter courses seem a lot easier. Don't avoid hills...learn to enjoy them. Try these simple techniques.

Enjoy the hill
Start with a good mindset. Don't freak yourself out. Consider the hill an opportunity to relax, change pace, and use different muscles.

Look upward
Keep your body angle perpendicular to the ground, which is best for traction.

Look down at your feet
If you don't see the incline then it doesn't exist. This isn't the best form, but can help you mentally.

Shift gears
Seek a short, quick stride. You want the most efficient tempo so you don't waste energy.

What goes up must go down
Going down hill is your reward for going up hill.

Power of positive talk (I repeat phrases to myself)
"I'm going to kick this hill's butt"
"I got this. I got this. I got this."
"I'm rolling. I'm flowing. I'm moving. I'm grooving"
"Let it flow like H2O"
"I can do this"
"What hill?"
"Yes, finally a challenge!"
"I'm gonna give this hill a beating."
"Let's kick it"


  1. looking forward to the "BIG 10", were going do this!!!i really feel as a group we can conquer anything together!!! also we get breakfast!!!yumyum!!!!can't wait to see route!

  2. We are absolutely going to do this! We are going to kick butt and take names! We are a great group! Great Run + Great Friends + Great Breakfast=Perfect Saturday!