How to Run a Marathon

Hill Running For Elite Runners

During a race, generally the goal is to get to the start and finish in the quickest time possible.  This isn't always true at the Elite Level. Sometimes where you place is more important  than the overall time. For this reason, the way a person runs Hills may, at times, be different then from a runner who is trying to get to the finish line as fast as possible. The general strategy for the race is to get up the hill as relaxed as possible without spending excess energy. This allows you to have more energy for the downhills where you can generate more speed. With this strategy,  you will not have to spend any time recovering from the uphill portion of the run. You will not only make up time but, by running downhill strong you can knock off additional time.
However, if you are in the lead pack, it may be more important to stay with the leaders than to break contact and find yourself running alone.  

More importantly, at the later stages of the race if you are a strong runner, a hill may be the place where it is good to throw a few good surges to knock others out of their comfort zone. 
For stronger runners an easy way to quicken the tempo is to focus on driving the use of the arms. If you quicken the turnover rate of the arms, the turnover rate of the legs will naturally follow. This is an efficient way to throw in a surge without use of too much additional energy.  Try to back out of a surge before you go into true oxygen debt.  This will allow you to throw the second or third surge in sooner. By doing repeated surges, one can know a competitor out of the race by breaking his rhythm.

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