by Gina Shell

If you are wondering how you can increase your intensity, try running hills.  Some runners will sprint up hills for speed work.  Others will choose a hilly course to train.  I know when members of my running group were training for a marathon, the long runs always involved a hilly course that entire training run.  The combination of hills and distance can increase your endurance.  As with anything in life, the more you repeat something, the stronger your get.

As you start out in hill training, try small hills spaced apart. Then, as you master those, gradually upgrade to steeper hills closer together.  I know if the local track was closed for a school event and speed work was scheduled, we would find a hill and do hill repeats getting faster on each one. This form of speed training can help in fine tuning your speed.  As the runner gets tougher (and you will definitely be able to tell), you will want to toughen the workout.  Long runs develop your endurance just as the fast runs develop strength. Hill training can benefit both endurance and strength.

With all the talk of hills, I must inform all followers that the Mt. Summit Challenge is on April 22, 2018, at 9 am at the Hopwood Fire Department.  As one of the race directors, I can attest that athletes of all abilities come out for this exciting race. The Fayette Striders host a post- race party/awards event at the Historic Summit Inn following the race.  Guests are invited as well for a minimum price.  The Mt. Summit Challenge started over 30 years ago and was just 3.1 (5K) miles. The new bypass put in several years ago put the race to 3.5 miles. The finish is in the parking lot of the Summit Hotel.  A suggestion, try running (if you are a runner) or walking (if you are a walker) on the next nice weekend and you’ll be surprised how many do the Summit every weekend. It’s an accomplishment to say you finished the Mt. Summit Challenge.  I know of runners (and walkers) who complete every weekend in races, but won’t attempt to finish the Challenge. Are you up to the Challenge??? Hope to see you there…April 22!!

Happy Running…..