Tempo training vs hill reps

Hi everyone! 

I really want to work on my speed, my stamina doesnt let me down at all but i would love to be faster. I done a few Tempo rus whilst training for the marathon altho not as many as i should have *hangs head in shame*. I used to do my temp runs around a park but as the nights are drawing in i am not as comftable running around there in the dark, I live in a rather hilly area will tempo runs still be ok... I am worried that as my speed reduces up hill this will affect the training or will it al count as it would be faster (or attempted faster) than my normal pace. The other option is to do hill reps.... altho these are far less apealing! who here does hills reps and how do you find them? what do you guys use and what sort of difference has it made to your pace?


My paces are varible... shorter runs i am usually around the 9:30 mark and my marathon was at 10:33. Altho i maged to do two miles with an average of 9:07 last night.. wish i am still a bit chuffed at! woooooo! 

Any advice or help would be much appreiceated, 


  • Hill reps are often called 'speedwork in disguise'. Done properly they help with running form, promoting driving from the arms, high knee lift etc. I try to do one or the other during the week as I get bored easily and like to have some variety in my schedule. I am afraid that my legs do not seem able to cope with two sessions like that in the week. I wouldn't  worry too much about how fast you run up hill during the reps or during your tempo run, it is the effort that you want to keep consistent while maintaining good form.


    What I found really useful in previous marathon prep was doing my long run over a hilly route too. So keeping the pace easy but trying to maintain my form over the hills particularly towards the end of the run. I found this helped me a lot with coping with the fatigue felt towards the end of the marathon.


    hope this helps.

  • I variety of speedwork will have a massive affect on your pace.  Just introduce one session per week, but mix it up, either in rotation or whatever is convenient.  Try hills, tempo, fartlek and maybe 'proper' intervals.  Perhaps also introduce half a dozen strides (50-100m sprints concentrating on good form and smooth accelleration) at the end of one of your easy runs.

    With respect to pace, mcmillianrunning.com is useful, but as a general rule the session should be hard, but not leave you completely wiped out.  You should be able to maintain your target pace thoughout the session, so if your pace starts to drop off towards the end you're going too fast or too long.

    Another thing that you might find useful is to introduce good stretching session once or twice a week.  You shoudl stretch after every session, but I mean do a thorough session to increase flexibility rather just prevent tightening up.

    And don't forget to warm up.

  • Thankyou both yes it was a help, I need to work on form and speed so I think imgoing to have to bite the bullet and get on those hills! I always worried re speed of the tempo run I ran at a pace just above comfortable but its not that fast so I shall continue putting in the effort and working on form. I do put in hills on my long runs I live in a hilly area and I found on thr marathon that I was often keeping pace better then those around me altho they often got the better of me on the flats so I shall continue with that.

    Lou thanks for directing me to mcmillia I have not have a chance to look yet but I will asap. To be honest I dont really stretch I have a cool down walk at the end of my run and my walm up for tempo runs is a slow jog to the park takes abiut 5 mins. Maybe some stretchjng research is needed!

    Thanks again
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