Friday, October 28, 2011

Cerutty On The Benefits of Hill Running

Do all of us recognize the many ways in which hill running can make us better runners? It is my belief that for the average runner,if they did nothing but running up hills that varied in length and steepness,as well as aerobic work, they would become fitter than if they just did track and aerobic training.Cerutty mentions the sometimes forgotten benefit of running hills on a regular basis in the following excerpt. Percy writes: "Flat-out hill running,on roads or grass, help more than any other type of training,as they teach the 'habit' part of our mentality to deliver full effort irrespective of pain and fatigue. The more it hurts,the harder we try to run. In time,one of two things will happen to us. We will have developed a 'retreat complex', which means we will avoid very painful efforts,irrespective of our will,or we will become one of the few who can do the super-normal on occasion, which means we have learnt to run through the pain barrier, that barrier that stops so many. We all know that little voice that says, 'postpone your effort to the next lap or mile...He will come back...It is not my Saturday I'll do it.... Is it so important after all...? and many other equally disconcerting whisperings. We all know them. Only a few ever learn to dominate them. The sandhill and hill running are the answer if we are ever to learn." The above brings a few things to mind.First,that "little voice" that Percy mentions,who hasn't heard it and succumbed to it at one time or another? Remember how crappy and angry we felt after we did? Also, what he says regarding hills goes nicely with what Elliott said about the spirit in my post before last. Something else, Cerutty used to teach that we should "thrust against pain" and that "pain is the purifier." There is no question that pain can be a purifier if you enter into the workout with that thought in mind and allow it to do so. In closing, if you have been neglectful of hill work for whatever reason,now is the time to make it an integral part of your training.For those whose fitness may not be where it should be,try incorporating an easy aerobic run over a hilly course for starters.

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