As a marathon runner, Martin Dent is used to pacing himself over the 42-kilometre journey.
But this weekend the London Olympian will turn his hand to upping his speed on much hillier terrain at the Australian Mountain Running Championships at Mount Stromlo.
The premier middle-distance runners in the country will converge on Canberra on Sunday for the titles, with spots at the world mountain running championships up for grabs.
This will be Dent's first national mountain running titles and he isn't sure what to expect from the 12km race.
Competitors will complete three laps of the 4km course and climb more than 500m in the process.
''I've done plenty of hilly races and mountain races, but not an Australian title,'' Dent said.
''It's probably not as hilly as some of the Australian champs can be, so it should suit me a bit more than it would otherwise.
''It's a good chance to have a go and see how I go against the more specific mountain runners.''
Dent will use the event as his first step in preparations to contest the marathon at the world athletics championships in Russia in August.
It will be the 34-year-old's first marathon after finishing 28th at the London Olympics last year.
That strong showing booked his spot on the plane to the world titles, allowing him to structure his training with his qualification secured.
He has just returned from a stint overseas where he competed in the JP Morgan corporate challenge in the US and a 10km race in Canada last week.
There has also been a new addition to his family - his wife giving birth to the couple's fourth child, Layla, only six weeks ago.
''It's easier than when we had twins, that was full on,'' Dent laughed. ''That's added to it being extra busy at home, and I've just been away for 10 days.''
While he is unsure if he will continue on to the next Olympics in 2016, Dent has next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in sight. ''I'm not going to turn down the opportunity to represent Australia.''
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