I did my first half marathon last year after proudly graduating from c25k and am training for a 10K in May. I'd like to do another HM in September.
I've been training in mostly the same place all this time - the grounds of a beautiful public school in my neighbourhood - because it's convenient, relatively safe, grassy and flat. Due to child protection concerns the headmaster has been cracking down on joggers and I'm no longer allowed to run there in term time. While I can grudgingly understand the reasons why, and am frankly surprised it took them this long to boot me out, I now clearly need a new training venue. The most obvious place is the woods behind our house, which I haven't really been using, except as my warmup place before I get to the school grounds, because they are very hilly.
This could very well be a blessing in disguise - I know training in the same place and on the same type of ground every day introduces a law of diminishing returns and doesn't increase your fitness as well as varying the ground would do. I know I need to get some hill work into my training program but I'm a little nervous. I have tried a couple of times to run in the woods and every time I've come back with a knee pain that lasts for days (no more, really). I just keep telling myself my 49-year-old joints just aren't built for this but now I need to change that way of thinking - it's either run in the woods or literally start pounding the pavement and the streets, which I think would damage my knees even worse.
So I'm looking for tips on how to ease into running hills and not make me fear them so much.