Run for the Hills

On 2nd July 2015 by Rachael

In less than 24 days, I’ll take on the very first Fort William marathon, including The Devil’s Staircase …

Pic credit:

Pic credit:

Run for the hills. Or in the opposite direction, which is how I felt after interviewing a local Scottish runner who is also taking on the Fort William marathon, who mentioned the Devil’s Staircase.

What’s that?” I asked, already knowing that I didn’t want to know.

Part of the West Highland Way , The Devil’s Staircase joins Kinlochleven and Glencoe. Legend has it, that the path is was so named by the road builders because of the difficulty of carrying building material up the pass. And then, when the Blackwater Dam was being built, because the workers would go for a drink when they got their pay check and after a few drinks and on a cold winter’s night, ‘the devil would claim it’s own,’ using the pathway down.

A cheery thought. And I’d hazard a guess that as it ascends to 550 metres, it may well claim the last energy from my legs too.

But, how should you train for steep, uphill and uneven train?

It’s all about building strength during the foundation phase of your training before your miles begin to build.

Walking up and down flights of steps with kettlebells, ensuring you don’t bend at the waist, is one easy way to do this. Alternatively, if you’re in a gym or even home environment, try the simple but effective, knees to standing exercise.

On your knees, take a step forward with one leg, ensuring that your knee stays over your ankle as you push through the heel to stand up. Keep your torso upright. Then, kneel back leading with the opposite foot.

Repeat, alternating feet until fatigue. Do three sets.

Begin adding weights held up in the air, directly over your shoulders for core training at the same time once you are stronger.

Have I done this…? Er, no.

The Fort William Marathon takes place on July 25th. Places are currently sold out.


A wintry picture, but it demonstrates the kind of terrain. Credit

A wintry picture, but it demonstrates the kind of terrain. Credit



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