Am I making a mistake by not running hills?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Jeff 14 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #1287


    I’m following Daniel’s marathon A plan. So far I like a lot. It seems that the intervals and the tempos that he has me running are making me a lot stronger.

    Although, it doesn’t call for any hill runs, specifically, am I to assume than that I don’t need to be running them as long as I’m following his plan?

    I realize that it is good to run hills and since I’ve been on this forum I have read where a lot of people do a session of base building, a session of hills, a session of speed work and then a taper. This all looks great and I will certainly do this for my next marathon.

    Do I need to specifically plan on running hills on my easy days? If I do, will these effect my interval and tempo days?

    Should I just run hills when they come along during my regular runs and be happy with that?

    I’m running Grandma’s and the course is quite flat.

    Here’s what I would like to accomplish:

    This is my first marathon so I really don’t know what to expect as far as a goal is concerned. I don’t know how to run a marathon yet. I think a 3:30 would be conservative(Daniel’s is saying my MP is 7:24). I’m finding as I’m getting into my training that I’m feeling a lot stronger and I’m starting to think that I can run faster than a 3:30, but I don’t want to “crash and burn” my first marathon. I’m thinking I would like to set a coservative goal and just see how I’m feeling on the day. I ran a 12.5 mile run a couple days ago and had a tough time keeping it slower than a 7:30 pace on the second half of the run. That’s my longest run to date so I don’t know what to expect above that.

    Given my goals for my first marathon and the elevation of the course, I shouldn’t have to worry too much about hills, should I?

    Should I just continue to follow his plan to the “T” like I have been and not worry about getting a lot of hills in for the marathon?

    Once I learn a little about the marathon after this first one, I think I will certainly prepare better for my next one.

    After reviewing my post, I think in next month or so I will have a lot better idea of what I should be able to accomplish.


  • #13750


    Hills are beneficial regardless of race course. They are even beneficial for track races, where the biggest “hill” is the 1-2 inch high rail on the inside of lane 1 of some tracks that you have to step over before or after the race to go between the track and the infield.

    As for fitting hills into a Daniels plan, if you read his book carefully, you will notice that he mentions the possibility of doing your repetition workouts as hill repeats. If you want to stick with Daniels to the letter, I’d suggest doing this. If you are willing to tweak, I’d say consider doing a tempo run over a hilly route or if you do your intervals in the form of a timed fartlek, do that on a hilly route.

    I do believe in working hills into as many runs as possible. You don’t have to run those hills hard, all you have to do is get up a hill or two during the run. Simply overcoming gravity, regardless of pace or effort, should be the goal on these runs. There might be a slight effect on recovery at first as your legs have to build the strength to run hills but, once you are used to the hills, they shouldn’t affect your recovery to any meaningful degree.

  • #13751


    I think you need to work in some hills. Hills are what can help you build the strength in your legs that you will need in the late stages of the Marathon.

    I would agre with Ryan that you should just try to hit a few hills on your runs. I have followed Daniel’s plans before and I still do all of my Tempo runs on a hilly loop. It makes my pace a tad slower, but I know it is building strength.

    You will be thankful for the extra strength in your legs come mile 22. Why not do some hills and be just a bit more prepared?!

    Don’t worry about “Lemon Drop” hill at Grandma’s, it isn’t NEARLY as bad as people make it out to be. Its kinda like Eric Sevareid said on his canoe trip from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay “people tend to exaggerate the dangers of their landscape” (in a few more words than that, but you get the point)

  • #13752



    It sounds like your training is going great. Stick with Daniels paces and readjust your goal toward the beginning of the taper. Try to find a 10k or 8k 3 to 4 weeks out and let it rip. Untapered you’ll be forced to a conservative time from which to project your goal marathon pace. As DD would say, the hay will be iin the barn and get ready to burn it all.

    Ferris says don’t worry about lemon drop and that’s correct, it won’t do any good. BUT, Id sure as hell get ready for it. It’s in a shit spot and the long downhill afterward is what’s worse.

    A solution for this I have used for Boston on both Pfitz and Beck plans was this. Once a week, no more I took a medium long run and threw it over a hilly route. Another trick could be throwing in a long gradual uphill and downhill near the end of your long runs. Like a lot of this training, it doesn’t take a whole lot to be prepared.

    Lemon drop ripped me a new one at Grandma’s, but I also tried doing it 4 or 5 weeks after Ice Age. OUCH.

    Good Luck PSKI

  • #13753


    Jeff disregard the 10k, I see your half marathon scheduled. Race it untapered then set your goal, is what I’d do. Go get em, PSKI

  • #13754


    I think I will throw in a hilly run once a week. Right now my mid week run is 8 miles. I think I’ll pick a hillier area to do this. I have also heard that Lemon Drop isn’t that big of a deal. But, like you say, I want to be prepared for it.

    So, running one hilly course a week will help a lot, huh?


  • #13755


    I’m running Grandma’s and the course is quite flat.

    I think a lot of people say Gma’s is flat, however I’d say “rolling” is more appropriate.

  • #13756


    I’m not sure I would consider Grandma’s as “rolling” especially after running parts of Twin Cities with my buddies.

    I would consider Grandma’s as not flat, but not rolling……maybe we could call it “flat with a hint of rolling” or “bumpy” or even “flolling”

    anyway, I like Grandma’s course. It’s great to see the lake the whole time, but there are a few parts where spectators are few and far between and it gets a little boring, but the scenery is gorgeous. The bagpipers on top of lemon drop always get my Celtic blood pumping.

    As you come into downtown to finish, there are so many people going crazy that you forget that you were bored 30 minutes prior. It’s truly a great atmosphere, and the 5k the day before is fast and full of solid competition. You’ll enoy it.

    do you have a hotel nearby the finish?[/b]

  • #13757


    Yeah, I’m pretty excited about the whole race atmosphere. I haven’t ever been to anything quite like this.

    I don’t think my hotel room is close to the finish. I got a cheap room($60/night) in a not-so-fancy motel. I’m not even sure how far away it is, I think she said 10 minutes or 10 miles– don’t remember.


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