I did a search seeking advice on preparing for hills. I have done very little hill training. In truth, I did none as I trained for the hilly and difficult Kansas City Marathon. But that seemed to have workout. Living in Houston is very challenging when it comes to hill running. The reality of course, is that one must travel an hour North of the city or West towards Austin to find any significant hills to train on. But, I think I have a new plan, as noted here by Coach Greg McMillan:
Overland vs. Treadmill Running
In treadmill running you don’t have to overcome wind resistance since you stay in the same spot. As a result, you need to set the treadmill to 1 percent incline (unless doing hill repeats) to approximate the 7 percent energy cost you usually use to overcome air resistance. Second, in treadmill running, the ground runs out from underneath you instead of you pushing against the ground to propel yourself over it. As a result, the biomechanics are slightly different. Also, since there are no curves or undulations in the surface of the treadmill belt, your footplant is exactly the same nearly every stride. Take care when starting treadmill running to let your body adjust to the different demands. You need to gradually introduce treadmill running to your winter routine, and it’s a good idea to do some preparatory easy treadmill runs before you do treadmill training.
1 Set: 90 seconds @ 6 percent grade and marathon pace
1-minute recovery @ flat jog
1 minute @ 7 percent grade and marathon pace
2-minute recovery @ flat jog
Do 6-10 sets.
Workout No. 1 comes from masters ace and long-time coach Gary Silver, who lives and trains in flat Florida. “This is a great hill program on a treadmill. You want to run the hill at your 5K race effort, which, in this workout, occurs at just slightly faster than your marathon pace. Increase the incline simultaneously with the speed — do not start your clock until the treadmill is at 6 percent and the speed has increased to marathon pace. I suggest four to six sets the first week’s workout, then six to eight, then eight to 10. If you were to do this hill workout leading into the Boston Marathon, I think you might even say that the Boston course is flat!”