Hills tell you the truth: I can run as many miles as I want in a week, or a month, but until I haul my butt up a 6% + grade for a mile or more, I don’t really know where my fitness level is.
Hills are Humbling: My training took to the hills today. A young whipper-snapper on a mountain bike passed me up near a crest. I called out that I would race him to the top. I sprinted up the last 1/8 of a mile and beat him. Sounds like a good story, but it actually we were both going pretty slow and I was sucking wind afterwards.
Why Run HIlls?: I ran the San Francisco Marathon last year and experienced 3.5 miles of 3% grade starting at mile 13. Next year, the Big Sur Marathon has 2 miles of 4.7% grade at mile 10. If I don’t train on hills, I will fail on the hills.
There are no garbage miles running up hills on a summer day. Any day I choose to run towards a hill is better for my self-esteem than one where I run away from the hill. Ultimately, hills are the road less traveled, and they make all the difference.