So, how was that uphill for you on Sunday? Mararthoners, are you proud of yourself for powering up that? You should be. Soon, we’ll all be going all the way up Temescal Canyon, both the half marathoners and full marathoners; and once you can do that, you’ll be prepared for all the hills on the Marathon course.
There is one short steep hill in Downtown LA at about Mile 4. It looks tough, but as you approach it on Marathon day, there will be drummers there pounding out a rhythm that echoes off the buildings and within your body. Put your head down, get into the rhythm, and the beat will power you up that hill. The rest of the hills are longer but much gentler. As we get further into our training season, our routes will cover sections of the Marathon route so you’ll be very familiar with every incline and decline, and you’ll know how to pace yourself. You’ll be able to tackle the course with wisdom and confidence.
Between now and then, here are physical and mental tips for doing uphills. (More about downhills in a future post.) Lean forward a bit and take shorter steps. It will feel a little easier. Also have a plan for how you’ll mentally tackle the hills. A game I play in my head is to guess where I’ll be after 100 steps, then look down (though I do look around enough so I don’t do something really embarrassing like run into a parked car), run those 100 steps, pick my head up for a better view, and see how close my guess was to where I actually am. Maybe this will work for you, or maybe you’ll come up with something else. Experiment and see what works best for you.