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Hill training - how often?

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May 2015
7:25pm, 14 May 2015
3 posts
  • 0
Running Auditor
I am going to be running the Loch Ness marathon in September - it has a hill at mile 18 which apparently is quite long.....
I haven't trained on hills for ages. Both previous marathons were pancake like in their hill profiles!
I plan to follow the P&D plan (up to 55 miles a week) as following that got me a PB last time. My question is, how much hill training should I do?

My weekday runs are done as part of a run commute to work along the Thames (flat), but can detour up hills through Blackheath/Greenwich - should I do that during the week? Or should I just do more hill running during the long slow runs at the weekend and try and replicate the course profile as much as I can?

Any advise would be appreciated - thanks!
May 2015
8:10pm, 14 May 2015
271 posts
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I have done the Loch Ness marathon 4 times and it is a tough one. The hill your talking about at mile 18 actually ends at mile 19, the real tough part however is in the first 7 to 9 miles which have a lot of downhills, some really short but quit steep. So your Quads can start to feel pretty beat up before you reach 10 miles.

However having said that it is a great marathon run and you should view the hills as a challenge.

As far as your training goes you are giving yourself plenty of time so you should be good to go come race day. I would do as much hill running as you can do without risking injury making sure you go at a good pace on the downhill because its the downhills on race day that cause the most damage. I personnaly tried to include as much lumpy little hills as possible during my long runs and did specific hill sessions as well.

One thing I think I would incorporate if I do Loch Ness again would be plyometrics. They may just give the edge in thigh strength for the downhill sections so they fatigue at a slower rate.
Hope this ramble helps and if you do try plyometrics let me know if they work.
May 2015
8:30pm, 14 May 2015
4 posts
  • 0
Running Auditor
Ooh thanks purephase, that's really helpful. I will try the plyometrics as well, I've got the Insanity DVDs which includes that, I'll incorporate those into my training too.

I hadn't even thought about running downhill!
May 2015
9:01pm, 14 May 2015
10118 posts
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I'd say that it's better you do your hills as a specific session. Run up, run down, repeat for around 20-30 minutes. I live somewhere where, unless I go along the towpath, everywhere is a bit up and down, varying from slightly to very, but it's just not the same as a dedicated effort.
May 2015
11:27am, 15 May 2015
10124 posts
  • 0
How often? Once a weekish.
May 2015
10:02pm, 15 May 2015
5 posts
  • 0
Running Auditor
Thanks Dvorak, think I need to search out a decent hill!

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I am going to be running the Loch Ness marathon in September - it has a hill at mile 18 which appare...

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