Marathon training: Conquering hills

‘Hill’ doesn’t have to be a four-letter word with these tips

“Hill” can be a nasty four-letter word for any runner. Don’t let a fear of incline stand in your way of conquering a course with hills. With proper technique, you will build confidence and momentum to tame any hill.

It’s not too late to join the Norton Sports Health team!

Join the Kentucky Derby Festival marathon training group — connect with other participants and get support from athletic and sports health professionals.

Sign up for text alerts to receive messages about any changes in training times and locations. The Norton Sports Health training program prepares you for the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon on Saturday, April 28.

*Before beginning any training program, consult with your health provider to ensure you are healthy enough to properly train and complete the program.

  1. Smile: Remember, this too shall pass. You totally got this.
  2. Get your lean on: You will naturally lean into the hill, but avoid leaning too much. Doing so will make your push-off more difficult and strain your hip flexors.
  3. Forefoot strike: Allow your forefoot to do all the work. You will have a natural tendency to toe the hill, so do it! It will allow for shorter, quicker strides and waste less energy than with a heel strike.
  4. Keep your eyes on the ground: There’s no need to measure the hill up in order to beat it. Instead, focus on what is right in front of you. Keep your eyes on the ground, and you will be at the top of the hill in no time.
  5. Push, push, push: Now’s the time to really exercise your determination. Don’t pull your pace back until you are on the downhill.
  6. Enjoy the downhill: You made it up the hill! Use the downhill to recover. Open your stride back up and let gravity pull you down the hill.

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