Hansons Marathon Method HMM_96dpi_400pw_strokeAfter we announced that we would answer questions about Hansons Marathon Method on the book’s Facebook page, we started getting questions about running hill workouts. The Hansons Marathon Method doesn’t call for hill workouts, instead emphasizing what the Hansons call Strength workouts, which are like endurance intervals.

One of the common questions we’ve seen on Facebook is this:

“I’m training for a marathon in a hilly city but I live in a flat state. How can I make sure I’m prepared to run hills during my race?”

Hansons Marathon Method author Luke Humphrey answers:

Always remember: something is better than nothing. Even if you can’t get to hills, you must still do the Strength workouts. Strength workouts are critical for building endurance and power during a marathon, but they won’t directly influence your ability to run hills. Only running on hills will do that (more on this in a sec).

All of the workouts in the Hansons Marathon Method are pace oriented. If you’re a runner who has trouble sticking to a prescribed pace (if you try to hammer everything), then you should exercise restraint and run Strength workouts on a flat surface instead of on hills. That way, you’ll stick to the correct pace and earn the physiological adaptations that we intend to get from Strength workouts. You may even learn how to pace by feel a little better, ya hammerhead.

The best way to get in hill work is to use a treadmill during your Easy runs.

For instance, in 2006, when I finished 11th at the Boston Marathon in 2:15:23, I ran almost all of my second runs in the afternoon on a local gym’s treadmill. Why? Because their treadmills had declines and I could practice the rolling terrain of Boston. I wouldn’t necessarily add another element to my SOS days (except the long run), but you could add the hills on easy days without adding too much stress.

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