>Running 101>Long hill (small mountain)
I live in Montreal and we have this very nice little mountain called "Mont Royal", which has a dirt road slowly zig-zagging up to the top. It's a marvelous place for walking, biking, jogging, etc. It has a rather gentle slope, about 175m elevation (550 ft) in a 5 km distance (3 miles).
If I'm training for a 1/2 M, is it beneficial to run this "mountain" or should I do more distance on flat land for my long runs. And for my hill work, is it better to stay at the bottom and run up for 2-3 minutes and come back down and repeat the process after a little break?
In other words, if all I did was go up that mountain and down, what areas of my training would not be covered?
Right now I just run there because I enjoy it, and I'm not preparing for any event.
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Ahhh....Parc du Mont-Royal, good running area. Like you know, the park has a great mix of hills and trails for a workout with lots of variety.
Running hills is a good part of your training routine. There's "hill running" where you take a structured approach and do a certain number of uphill runs and repeat (up & down, up & down). These structurred hill workouts, along with tempo and intervals, are a good workout to mix in amongst your daily routine of easy base miles.
You can also take a less structured approach to hill workouts and using the rolling terrain to build aerobic capacity and leg strength in a less structured way.
My thoughts on preparing to run a half marathon are fairly simple…there are two training components or goals: first is doing the training necessary to have the base level of fitness to be able to run the distance; second is layering training on top of that training geared to running the distance faster. With that in mind, I approach half marathon prep as a long cycle of putting down the base miles (easy and longer runs), and then a smaller percentage of time on trying to learn to run faster (tempo and intervals).
Hills are an important part, but you want to be certain that you are keeping the two types of initiatives - base building (endurance) vs harder (run faster) --- separate and in balance. If you're like most, your body can absorb more of the endurance work than it can the harder work.
(If you have an interest, there is a half marathon training group here on RunningAhead.)
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All of the above.
I'd do the long hill maybe every other week or so in base. I'd do the shorter repeats (2-3min) closer to race day. Something like 10-sec sprints (alactic) could be done throughout your training.
I'd probably mix it up with rolling hills also.
It somewhat depends on how long you'd be doing this and what your race terrain looks like. 6 months of the same hill can get old.
What would you be missing if you only ran up and down the hill - intensity. It's too long to be very intense, but it might be about right for a tempo (short end).
You'd also want to be sure to hit the downhills hard occasionally, esp. if you have downhills in your races. That's only about 3.5% slope, so nice for downhill work.
If you have anything steeper, that can be good to mix things up occasionally.