Well, I finished the Dorset "marathon" yesterday in a tad under 6.5 hours! That probably sounds appallingly slow but I suspect it was probably just a bit below average. It was a brutal event. I didn't see anyone able to run up or down some of the hills (although with the winner doing it about 3.5 hours a few people probably did). I did get overtaken by people who knew how to walk up very steep hills quicker than me. This was something where I'd just assumed when it came to walking that most people would be similarly slow but actually it's mainly me that's slow walking up. One final aspect that I'd not anticipated was steps that were so steep. In places I think they were about 2 foot high down an insanely steep slope, although I could have been hallucinating that as it was near the last of 27 miles heading down into Lulworth Cove beach.
Not sure I want to bother with events that have quite so much un-runnable stuff although I think I enjoyed it, (still getting my head around the whole experience!).
In summary, I think, yes, just run more hills more and steps more and probably find some bloody steep stuff that I can only walk up and practice walking faster. Not sure if that latter bit helps much with the running but I don't expect it'll do any harm.
Sounds like getting acquainted with that handy 130 nearby steps is one thing to throw in the mix. Other than that, more of what I have been doing.
It is nice to hear what you folks have done to achieve great results so, thank you Millsy, Matthew and PhilPub.
Still, if anyone has some plan(s) based on, say, sciencey stuff, I would be interested to hear about it. I'm not overflowing with spare time and my long runs are circa 4 hours with all the hills and even more time with prep' (finding/washing kit, prepping run fuel, planning routes etc. on top) so not making that worse while not hampering my training would be nice. I'd like to do more but I don't want my Mrs getting annoyed with me.
Apparently, plans for a marathon back when Runnersworld started involved doing about 70 miles a week. Now we know you can get by on a lot less than that with the right training... So how to max out the benefits of hill work etc. for our needs without ending up with runs so long that they grate on family life?
Surely there must be some sport science type peeps out there with info' on this...
Matthew, yes, walking sounds like an essential ingredient for these sort of longer hillier events.
Top 10, wow, I am just aiming to finish alive on this, my first marathon!
I too have the 20 mile R.A.T. booked so, once this is done, I will think about if I need to modify my plan. Thing is, your Cornish hills are about 50% higher than those tend to find near me but I will work something out.
Still interested to hear how other people train for hills, anyone working to a more specific plan based on their planned race...
Thanks Millsy and that does sound quite straight forward, however, I'm hoping to find some sort of "optimum" way to work this into a plan.
Going to extremes; I could just train 7 days a week running the same sort of route but that's going to burn me out. I could just not worry about the hills but when I have to hit them in the race I won't be ready.
For distance, if running the long 18 mile training run gets me ready for 26.2 (according to the plan I used) then what, at the same time as the other training runs, gets me ready for, say, ~5000 feet of ascent over multiple hills? Or any other height/hill combo (as 1 mega hill is not the same as, say 10 tiddlers adding up to the same height)...
I'd have though this would be something other folks would like to be able to plug into their training plans so as to achieve good results while minimising injury risk, over training, not under training for any aspect etc.
In running plan utopia I'd just plug my race route GPX file into the program (i.e. so it has the height/gradients/etc) and from that it would offer me the usual easy/medium/hard type training plan I can get for a flat marathon from the Runnersworld on-line plan generator.
These hilly races seem to be getting more popular so, come on folks, anyone else tried to do something structured to come up with a hilly plan?
Having completed a few undulating, mostly country, 10Ks, 10 milers and a half, I decided I fancied a go at the Dorset Coastal "marathon". I ran off a 7 week plan, (yeah, I know, a tad short), using the Runnersworld web plan generator where you type in a recent race time and how hard you want to train and out pops a plan.
Except there's no option to tell it how hilly your race is. My up coming race has 4910 feet of climbs in it. Arrrrgh.
So, for my first long run I planned a route with about 2000' of climbs and then for every run after I added more until I was meant to have about 4250 feet of climbs in the last long run. This didn't quite work out as I got slightly lost on my last 2 long runs and did the distance but missed out on 500' the first time and about 750' on the last run.
And how did that go? Well, the race is in a few days so I can't changing anything for that now. On my last long run of 18 miles and what my running gizmo says was about 3250', my legs were ready to fall off when I got back to the start. At least I know it's really going to hurt on the day but, strangely, I am not put off. Yet.
But, other than giving myself more training time, (for my next hilly race ), what should I have done to modify my running plan in an optimum way for racing in the hills?