I was having a look at the new marathon route for 2008 StanChart Nairobi marathon and I noticed that, around the 3K mark there is a steep hill. It is the point along haile selassie avenue. Runners in the half and full marathon will run up and down the steep hill near NHIF building.
Difficulty of Running uphill.
Running up hill means runners will be forced to switch into anaerobic respiration very early in the marathon. If you pant heavily at a flat course, imagine how difficult it will be running uphill.
Because of the extra effort required to run uphill many runners might run out of glycogen stores early in the race.
Difficulty of running down hill.
The biggest myth of running is, running down hill is easy. Running down hill knocks the hell out of your knees and heels. I have also noticed, when am running down hill that is when a stomach cramp is triggered.
The Best way to prepare to run up the hill.
Do plenty of speed work. Speed works are done in anaerobic respiration. The more you get used to run with little oxygen getting into your muscles, the easier it will be to run uphill. Alternatively do hill repeats during your marathon training.
Carbon load. The week before the marathon eat plenty of complex carbohydrates. carbohydrates are stored in our bodies in the form of glycogen. During running the gycogen is burned to produce energy.
For the unfit, that is, any runner with less than two months of training, the wise thing to do is to walk up the hill.