Fifth, Hill continued to train enormous weekly mileages even when he was quite ill. As he wrote, Illnesscolds, chest infections, bugs, sore throats didnt stop me, just occasionally lowering the weekly mileage when I was really bad (R. Hill, 1982, p. 137). He apparently was unaware that illness is an important sign of overtraining (see post 10) and indicates the absolute and urgent need for more rest, not more training.
Sixth, Hill did not taper adequately for his major races, and this must surely have affected his performances adversely.
Run In Place Exercise Photo Gallery
Seventh, Hill made the fundamental error of introducing change for changes sake at the most critical times in his career. This was most apparent before the 1972 Olympic Games Marathon when, despite never having trained at altitude for more than a few days, he committed himself to 3 weeks of altitude training just 4 weeks before the most important race of his life. There was no evidence then, as there is no evidence now, to suggest that a period of training at altitude inevitably improves sea-level racing performance (see post 9).
Immediately prior to the 1972 Olympic Marathon, he changed his proven formula for success by increasing his peak training period from 9 to 10 weeks (see Exercises 8.11). This may seem a small change, but it might have been critical if, as I suspect, he really only needed to peak for 6 weeks and was, in reality,
Already going downhill physically when he ran his best races after the 9-week peaking period. Under those circumstances, the extra week of heavy training would make an enormous difference.