Monday, December 18 2006 @ 08:28 AM PST
Contributed by: mday
Scott Brockmeier Photo
Master Ultrarunner Roy Pirung has written a good article on hill training. (This is the same 58 year old runner who placed 2nd in the recent 24 hour championship race.) My eyes were opened up to hill training a couple of years ago while on one of David Horton's training runs. Horton pointed out a fire road that went about a two miles steeply up hill (part of the Hellgate course) and mentioned that He would run repeats on that hill with Bethany Patterson back when Dr. Horton was training her and she was winning every race she entered. It wasn't a hill, it was a mountain. I have managed to find some hills (not mountains) here in the Raleigh area and I regularly run repeats on them. One hill is more than a mile long, which is good. This training paid off for me with a 5th place finish at Laurel Valley and then a 24th finish at Cascade Crest, both this past August.
Pirung makes all the right arguments for hill training. He points out it is different than speedwork. I think hill training is more important than speedwork for most ultrarunners. I like to combine the two into one workout. I know where my aerobic threshold is and I like to run uphill with my heart rate just above my aerobic threshold. This is the closest I get to speedwork, but it works well for ultra training.
This past weekend's ALTAR was a great mountain training session. (Unfortunately I'm not as strong as I was last August.) There is another oppurtunity for mountain training on Dec 30th, compliments of Hellgate winner Eric Grossman. And I believe the Western NC/SC crew may be planning some more mountain training runs.