Ultra Runners

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Hills (Read 526 times)

Mishka


    Hi everyone...

     

    I'm a lurker here, but I have a training question and wanted to see if anyone had some thoughts on it...which requires me to actually post. Big grin

     

    The question is about hill training. I'm doing the Oil Creek 100 in October. I live in NW Ohio and have nothing around here that mimics Oil Creek's course very well. The best hill around here is about 160 meters long, and climbs about 50 feet. So, an average grade of about 9.5%. It's off-road, with some sketchy footing.

     

    I've read that many in my situation would approach training using a hill like mine and running it repeatedly, for kind of a long time...like 2 hours or so. My thoughts are to do pretty much that. It'll be boring, but that's fine. I planned to run all of the downhills, but I'm not sure what to do with the uphills. It's the kind of hill I will likely walk on race day. I know some (a lot?) of that workout should be walking up. What I'm unsure of is whether there is any benefit to run a hill in training, that will be a walking hill on race day. Or, is it better to keep the training as specific as possible, and walk all of the uphills?

     

    Any thoughts are appreciated. As well as other ideas for how a flatlander can best prepare for a course that has a decent amount of uphill.


    You'll ruin your knees!

      You have the idea right... do it up and down for a long time.  Even if you plan on walking uphills at OC100, doing repeats of the same hill will give you some benefit.  You may want to consider running to the hill, doing an hour of repeats, then running home. 

       

      Other options I have seen used are 1) running stairs 2) running multi-story parking garage ramps 3) running bleachers...

       

      Best of luck to you Mishka lurker

      ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

      DoppleBock


        http://zachbitterrunning.blogspot.com/2011/12/training-recap-dec-11-17.html

         

        Here is an example how a pretty good 50 miler deals with hills - look at Saturday.

         

        There are 3 things that are hill related to work on

         

        1)  Strength going up hills

        2)  Quad pounding going down

        3)  Running with "Sketchy" footing up and down.

         

        Hill seem a little small ~ But you work with what you have.  Heck in winter I have already donw hill repeats in a 5 story parking garage.

         

        For Pure uphill strength you can also do mile repeats on TM @ 15%.  Its good to have flatish running inbetween repeats.

         

        I have to drive 35 minutes to find a half ass hill - 150-200 verticle feet.  I do just grind up and down one time a week for strength and quad bashing.

         

        It is 60 minutes to get to some nice technical trail - I wish I could get there every week ~ but I settle for every other.  This helps me with all 3 above.

         

        If I have not been able to get to hills in awhile - I will do the hill repeats on TM.

         

        I would run the hill - But if you are getting tired - You can also practive power walking up and still quad bash going down.

         

        The biggest threat to us flatlanders is we destroy our quads (Downhill Running) as you said we can always walk up the hills.  Miles away from they here the scream in the woods ~ They will know another flatlanders quads are gone.

        http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

        2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

         

          I am lucky as I live near downland so my hill training is pretty well built in but I have start training for a toughy in the Midlands, as DoppleBock hints the issue is you will be letting yourself into quad-bashing when you run down hills. So whilst you may train running up hills you will in fact be walking them.

           

          I like to train in the reverse and do down hill reps out lined in my blog post here: the basics are

           

          1. Find a suitable hill, preferably paved with no crossings and no pedestrians
          2. Mark out 100 metres then and extra 10 metres ( your braking distance!)
          3. After a warm up start at the top
          4. Sprint down hill to the 100 metre mark, turn
          5. Jog or walk to the top
          6. Repeat

          The blog is a little bit more indepth. I am aware of some of my ultra buddies find a humungously long hill and done this as a pyramid

           

          100m down sprint

          100m walk jog/walk up

          200m down sprint

          ...

          and then reverse

           

          Works for me

          Jerry
          A runners blog-updated daily

            This is all good stuff.  One warning about hill training from personal experience (at least for me) is that it tends to stress the IT Bands/Hip Flexors.   If you aren't stretching/strengthening these now, you might want to start before jumping in.


            A Sweetheart

              I just fastpacked through the Allegheny Nat Forest, which is close so I imagine the terrain is the same.  I think you will be running more hills than you think.  Maybe you will hike up the long uphills, but are you going to stop and hike up every tiny bump and roller?  There seemed to be a lot of them in that area.  I think you would be best both running and walking your training hill.   I have the feeling that will be the most race specific training you can do. 

               

               

              Also this:

              This will not help with the downhills.

               

              For the uphills the treadmill is your friend.  Put that bad boy somewhere between 10-15% and put in a solid, continuous hour of walking uphill.  Work your way up to doing jogging/walking intervals.  The jogging you can do at a really low mph, one that is walkable (3.2-3.5).

               

              Whatever you do, ease into it.  Hills can be a bitch on the achilles.  Give them a chance to adjust to the new stress.

              I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart

               

              Tennessee Beer Mile Queen

              Mishka


                Thank you all, very much, for the responses.

                 

                This will be my first 100, and while I'm not exactly clueless, there is plenty that I don't know. It's great hearing from people who have been there before.

                 

                WG, I plan on getting over the course at least once before the race...hopefully 2 or 3 times. That should give me a sense of what the hills look like. I've pack-hiked about 10 miles of the 31 mile loop before, but that was well before I'd considered running the 100 there. So, my memory isn't great, and getting there with a running mind will be good. Even once I know the grades a little better, I still don't know what my mile 70 legs will think of them...and how to manage the early stuff so the late stuff is doable.

                 

                I think a lot of learning that effort is individual. Some will run the ups as long as possible...some won't run a hill at the beginning of the race if it's not one they can run late. I'm not sure where I am on that until I do it. I think my strategy will be to run anything that doesn't bury me, as far into the race as I can. That may change come race day...who knows?

                 

                I had had some thoughts on doing some uphill stuff on the treadmill, but I'm sold on that now. Jerry, there are some bridge overpasses around here that will probably work for some good quad smashing sessions. The area I'll be most short-changed is running a lot of technical downhills...they're just not around here.

                 

                This is all really good stuff. Thank you all, again!

                DoppleBock


                  I agree - I found I could power hike moderate to steep hills almost as fast as running.  My rule of thumb is if I will not pick up much time running over walking ~ why do it.

                   

                  Over the last couple years I have experimented a lot with different efforts.  From running a lot of times 2-3 hours in light and 1-2 in dark in a 4-5 hour run I found out something about myself I find interesting.  When it gets dark and you are running technical stuff, I cannot run the downhills very hard ~ But at the end of the section running the downhills really easy - I end up with the same or slightly faster time than in daylight.

                   

                  I am still trying to process this ~ I like pounding the downs, but it appears reality is that if I go easy on downs I run the flats and hills faster ... 

                   

                   

                   

                  I think a lot of learning that effort is individual. Some will run the ups as long as possible...some won't run a hill at the beginning of the race if it's not one they can run late. I'm not sure where I am on that until I do it. I think my strategy will be to run anything that doesn't bury me, as far into the race as I can. That may change come race day...who knows?

                   

                  http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                  2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                   

                  Mishka


                    Interesting and perplexing, DB! I'd be still trying to process that one, as well. It does make me think about something Micah True said about trail running. I don't have it in front of me, but I think his advice for running well for a long time on trails was "Easy. Light. Smooth." In that order...and that once you get that part right, "Fast" will follow.

                    RunsOnDirt


                      Mishka, I see from your log that you run Oak Openings a lot. Have you thought about running the Waterloo-Pinckney and Potawatami trails west of AA? Plenty of hills there.
                      PRs in my 5th decade: 5K - 19:56 10K - 43:45 10 M - 1:14:12 Half Mary - 1:39:27 Full Mary - 3:34:12 (BQ)


                      I'm noboby, who are you?

                         

                        I think a lot of learning that effort is individual. Some will run the ups as long as possible...some won't run a hill at the beginning of the race if it's not one they can run late. I'm not sure where I am on that until I do it. I think my strategy will be to run anything that doesn't bury me, as far into the race as I can. That may change come race day...who knows?

                         

                        I would strongly suggest that you NOT try to run what doesn't bury you that then pray you get to the finish. Walk the ups and run the down and levels until about 70 miles. if you still feel strong then try to run a bit more of the ups. If you expend your resources early in the race by running too many ups, ......... 

                         

                        As for hills, short repeats are fine but not the best if the race has long sustained downs. If  the race has 1 or 2 or 3 mile downs, You had best try to find a hill that meets or exceeds what the the race will throw at you. Once your quads go, you end up walking almost everything.
                        This is you first 100, go easy and finish strong.
                        Mishka


                          Mishka, I see from your log that you run Oak Openings a lot. Have you thought about running the Waterloo-Pinckney and Potawatami trails west of AA? Plenty of hills there.

                           

                          I have been there, but not enough (only once). It's a great place to run and only a 1:30 drive. It's a little short on elevation change and I'd prefer it to be more technical, but it's really good for reasonably local. I plan to get up there a little more often. I also have a 100k there in September (Run Woodstock).

                          Mishka


                            Pithydoug...thank you for the suggestions. My race day strategy is still evolving. I saw the race course, nearly in its entirety, for the first time yesterday. I'm thinking your suggestion of walking the ups (quickly) is looking like the best plan right now. I have a time goal in mind (even though that's not recommended for a first 100). I need to ask some questions of those familiar with the course to see what kind of strategies can make that time goal possible.

                             

                            My fitness will be there. I'm pretty confident of that. My shortcomings are understanding my body's signals for nutritional needs, and not having trails that mimic the race course. I'll be doing some out of town stuff to get on better trails. But I feel I'll still be a little short on course-specific training on race day. Fitness may not make up for that.


                            A Sweetheart

                              I have a time goal in mind (even though that's not recommended for a first 100).

                               

                              I believe running 100 miles is not recommended.

                              I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart

                               

                              Tennessee Beer Mile Queen


                              Imminent Catastrophe

                                What's a meter?

                                "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                                 "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                                "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

                                 

                                √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

                                Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

                                Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014

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