Servus Edmonton Marathon Training Tip: Benefits of Hills

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Hills add resistance and strength to your training. Runners have used hills for decades as a way to increase endurance, strength and speed.

Find a hill about 400 metres in length, with an incline of 8-10 percent. Prior to starting the hill session, include a warm up of easy running and light stretching.

Maintain a consistent effort rather than pace on the hill. Shorten your stride as the hill gets steeper. Keep your chest up and out, with your breathing relaxed. Your arm movements, in rhythm with that of your leg turn over rate. Keep your eyes focused on the top of the hill, just as they would be focused in front of you on a flat stretch.

Hill sessions build lower leg strength and improve your running form. Think about maintaining effort not pace. You will learn the art of pacing from the hills. You build strength and character, both of which will be useful on race day. Think of your hills as speed work in disguise.

Hill training improves your running technique and makes you mentally tougher for race day.

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John Stanton is the President and Founder of the Running Room. He is the author of 10 books about running, walking and family fitness.

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