I live in an area with small hills. How do I make the most of these hills when training for a trail race with much larger hills?
One of my favorite races is a 15-mile trail race with 3000+ ft (900+ m) total elevation climb. There are three big uphill segments, 1–3mi (1–5km) long, 500–800 ft (130–230m) climb with grades of 7–10+%.
I'd like to improve my hill training in preparation for this year's race. The best two options I have in my area are:
- Multiple hills with comparable or steeper grade, but much shorter: maybe 200 ft climb max. I can repeat these hills in quick succession. This trail is just a few minutes from my home and I can visit it several times a week
- One large hill, 500 ft, but it is much steeper (15% grade) and more technical, it's a good challenge uphill but seems difficult to run back down it in a safe matter. I spend a lot of time walking on this hill. I can only make it to this trail occasionally
Are repeated climbs on a small hill comparable to a single climb up a larger hill, in terms of training for miles-long climbs in the race?