I’m no stranger to running up hills.
Annapolis, where I do almost all of my training, is hillier than one might think (the A10 is often described as a challenging race partly because of all the rolling hills.) Most of the hills here aren’t super long or super steep, but they are definitely there.
That said, I’ve never done any dedicated hill training before now, as I work to BQ at the Rehoboth Marathon on Dec. 2.
I missed a BQ by two minutes and 15 seconds when I ran the Charlottesville Marathon in April (talk about hills.) To be honest, I thought it would be cool to run a BQ time — for me, that’s three hours, 40 minutes — but I wasn’t intentionally training for one. After I came so close, I thought, well, if I really push myself next time, maybe I can do it!
Enter Hal Higdon’s Advanced 2 marathon training schedule, which includes hill repeats every third week. The plan starts with three hill repeats, and progresses all the way up to seven hill repeats. They’re relatively short runs, but they will get your heart pumping and your legs aching.
I’ve been doing my hill repeats on the Naval Academy Bridge, which is one of my favorite places to run in Annapolis.
Why is it one of my favorite places? I mean, look at this:
That was the view from the bridge at sunset the other night.
It was just the best reward after four rounds of hill repeats.
The Naval Academy Bridge is a solid choice for the hill workouts, too, because you can run up one side, catch your breath at the top, take in the pretty view, jog down the other side, then run back up. It’s perfect!
The Rehoboth Marathon is a flat course, so I’m hoping that a solid foundation in hill training will give me an advantage in my quest to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Do you do hill training as part of your workouts? What advice do you have for me?