There aren't many big hills round here in the Midlands - at least, there are few long steep hills, like I'll have to cope with in Wales in May - so I do repetitions of the tallest steep hill round here, and makes sure I include a few steep gradients in my runs in general.
But I've been looking at those Welsh hills, and realising that no matter how many reps I do, I just don't have access to the gradients that Wales has.
So I've been running with ankle weights on. The ones I've been using at just under half a kilo each and have been getting lighter as they leak the iron sand that gives them their weight - they're old, see.
Now I've decided that the combination of those weights being light, and shedding their load gradually, means that I should use some new, heavier ones - and today was my first run with the new 2 kilo weights.
Bloody hell, that was hard going!
For the first time in ages, I came home exhausted - both out of breath and with tired legs. It was just a 7 km run, over the local big hill and back. Usually, that gets me a little out of breath, but it hardly fatigues me.
But when I started out, that hill used to be the most daunting thing on my routine. It's taken a lot of running to make it a relatively casual event.
By adding an extra kilo to each leg, and dragging that up and down and up and down that hill, I'm forcing myself to recondition my legs.
In time, it'll be easy.