Hills demand respect. The hill won’t budge, and it won’t change its incline. The hill doesn’t care that it’s hard. It doesn’t care that you’re tired. The hill was here first. If you decide to climb, the change needs to come from you.
I’ve been running hills more regularly recently, and they are completely kicking my ass. My thighs burn on the way up and my toes hurt on the way down. My breath gets shallow and fast, and I hit my attractive sweaty red phase significantly sooner than I would on a standard run. It’s brutal. It’s ugly. It’s exactly why I keep going back for more.
Hill training is speed training — if you put forth that same effort on a level plane you’d be sprinting.
Hill training is mental training — if you can find it in you to keep climbing long after you want to quit, you can finish anything.
Hill training is ego training — if you can survive being humbled on the way up, you earn your view at the top and your confidence on the way down.
Hills keep you honest. The only way over it is over it. There’s no cheating, no lying, no shortcut. You make it to the top or you don’t, and the only way to practice is to try again and again.