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Marathon Training Monday- Week 4

Running From Debt Track Pic

Happy Monday everyone! It’s week 4 of my training for the Long Beach Marathon. It’s time to step up my weekly mileage. Last week was a busy week with my work schedule and kids activities so I was not able to put in as much miles (11 Miles) as I wanted. Here’s what last week’s training looked like:

Week 3 Training Recap

Monday & Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 300m Hill Repeats x4 (1.3 miles) I LOATHE HILLS!!

Thursday & Friday: Cross-train

Saturday: 10 Mile Run (1:56:01; 11:32/mile)

Sunday: Rest

Despite not putting in more weekly miles, I was able to run run a 10 mile long run and it actually felt good! My legs were not sore the next day. I made sure I hydrated well and used my roller to roll out the knots throughout the day.

Hill Repeats

Hill repeats are a necessary evil in training to help build strength in your legs. For running, It is one of the best workouts to strengthen those hamstring and glute muscles. Aside from the physical aspect of conquering a hill, there is also a mental aspect to it. When you train with hills, it helps prepare you mentally for any hill you encounter during your race. You will not flinch at the site of a steep hill climb on race day.

When I trained for the SF Half-Marathon, I prepared myself for the hills by making sure I add hill repeats at least once a week. It truly paid off when I reached the part where we run from the Marina up towards Golden Gate Bridge. It was a fairly steep half-mile climb, but my friend, Ed, and I were able to power through and reach the Bridge with strong legs. A testament to hill repeats.

Even though I loathe hills, it is essential to add it to your workouts.

Here is a very simple hill workout you can add to your weekly training regimen:

Reverse Suicide Hills: Find a straight road with evenly spaced out landmarks such as street lights or driveway curbs. A good length is probably around 100-200 meters to start.

  • Do 1 mile warm up run and perform dynamic stretches.
  • With hard intensity, run up the hill to the farthest landmark (street light) and either jog or walk back down hill.
  • With the same intensity, run to the next farthest landmark and back down,
  • Repeat until you get to the nearest landmark.
  • Rest for 2-3 min and repeat this exercise 3 more times.
  • Cool down with a jog and stretches.

Your legs will thank me later!!

Tips for running up and down hills:

-Take shorter, quicker strides when running uphill. This helps transfer your energy from your legs down to the ground.

-Keep your legs and feet under your center of gravity and not in ahead in front of you. By keeping your feet under you, they are “pushing” you body forward instead of trying to “pull” you body up the hill.

-Stay on the ball of your feet. Hill running helps with your running mechanics because it forces you to run “quietly”, meaning you contact the ground on the ball of your feet instead of your heels.

Control your speed going downhill by increasing your stride length and slowing down. Going down hill is harder on your body than going up. You put more impact on your joints because of the downward forces and the increasing speed when you go down the hill. The key is control and not putting too much impact on your heels, which can translate into injuries from your feet all the way up to your hips and back.

Week 4 Training Goals

This week’s goal for me is to increase my weekly mileage to 20 miles. I plan to run a 12 mile long run on the weekend so that leaves me with 8 miles during the week. So two 4-mile runs looks pretty doable during the week. I hope everyone has a great running week and stay away from injury!

Do you do hill repeats? Tell me how you really feel about hills in the comment section!

Again, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you can take something away from it and incorporate it into your daily routine!

Thank you for Running with Me!

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Jen July 15, 2013, 12:43 pm

    Great hill tips, so many people stay away but they are such a great training tool. Good luck with marathon training. Join the weekly link up for marathon training on my blog today :)
    Jen recently posted…Marathon Weekly: Too Close for ComfortMy Profile

    • Ron July 15, 2013, 12:47 pm

      Thanks Jenn! I’ll definitely link up to your blog. I want read what others are doing for marathon training!

  • Jenn July 15, 2013, 6:47 pm

    At the moment, I’m not doing hill repeats, just hills. I hate them while I’m doing them, but when I’m done, I feel so accomplished.
    Jenn recently posted…ENERGYbits review & giveawayMy Profile

    • Ron July 16, 2013, 8:53 pm

      That’s how I feel when I do hill repeats. It sucks, but it does help out when you are tackling those pesky hills on your long runs. Its more mental for me.