I am currently attempting to upgrade my training to allow me to progress from enthusiastic fun runner to something more serious, with a view to getting my marathon time down to 3:30 or less (from a little over 4 hours now.) Having done some research via Runners World articles and taking advice from other runners, I seem to have received much conflicting information concerning effort or hill sessions. Many training schedules place heavy emphasis on them, while I know of runners who do very well on training schedules based simply on mileage. I don't do many effort sessions at the moment, mainly because I don't like doing them - I'd rather run 20 miles than spend half an hour sprinting up hills - and my training consists of around 25-35 miles a week spread over 5 days, rising to 35-40 miles a week during the build up to a marathon.
Given that I am certainly not a sprinter, my primary focus is on the Marathon and I rarely race over distances of less than 10 miles (I do not get the same level of enjoyment from anything less), am I wasting my time on effort sessions? Wouldn't I be better off going for mileage, mileage and more mileage?
I would be interested to know what other runners interested in the longer distance events think.