How do you cope with Hills?

I live in Leeds, i run in Leeds and while the city isn't built on the side of a cliff, I'm looking at you Halifax, it does seem to have a lot more undulation that i never noticed when driving around.

Now, and i know some of you will hate me for this, i don't have a problem with going up hills. I just get my head down and slog up them.

My problem is downhill. short sharp descent is alright, it's those long steady downhill bits after i've already been running for 30 or so minutes that get me. I start to get a stitch in my right side and then i get a dull ache in a different place in my left side.

 Guess i'm asking how you guys & guy-ettes cope with downhill bits.


  • Having seen a fell runner sprinting down a 30 degree slope covered in 3"-4" of snow while dressed in shorts/t-shirt i'm working on the principle that they are a breed apart from "normal" runners.

    I'm going to keep on working at downhill slopes, i'm sure i'll get there in the end.

  • tricialitttricialitt ✭✭✭
    Mr Darcy- the trick is to lean forward, and let yourself just be pulled downhill by gravity- not, as I used to, to lean back and end up fighting against it .
  • Don't fight gravity. It'll always win in the end!
  • I find that I "let myself go" on downhills, and just let my body go with it, It is very easy to try and fight the downhill, which makes it tough.

     Lengthen the stride and go with it, seems to work for me.

  • There are plenty of hills in Leeds -

    Temple newsam country park - plenty of off road short sharp 1's and long drags - bit of everything,  Harewood house - same again!, Garforth, Even the city centre has hills!

    but name just few places places. -



         I've been running for about 4 years now but have only just started running in competitive races and began to learn that training for speed isn't all about going out and trying to smash your training PB every time (this is what i've been doing up to now).  I have one problem though....hills.  I can't excape them where I live (Bury) and as much as I know they can be good, they also make tempo and interval training more difficult.

           Am I over-reacting though?  I have no real point of reference so wondered if anyopne familiar with Garmin charts could tell me whether this looks to be a "hilly" route or not.  This is my standard route and the inclines are mainly quite gradual rather than short and stepp.  Is it hilly or fairly run-of-the-mill and will these sorts of hills work ok for my impending speed training?


    Many thanks



  • Looks bloody hilly to me. It makes mine look flat as a pancake image i'm impressed even if no-one else is image

  • Yup, looks hilly to me as well! My LSR at the weekend was 14k with a total incline of 858ft according to Garmin. I still have walk breaks but trying to jog an extra 10 metres up the hill sections.

     Larger view

  • Thanks people, appreciate that.  I wasn't trying to impress anyone mind, I never said I ran it quickly or wellimage


    So anyone any idea if these sorts of inclines will play havoc with proper speed training (Fartlek/Interval etc) or whether I should still get effective results using this route?


    Sorry for asking dumb questions, i'm a total newbie to proper training, It's actually come as a bit of a bombshell to learn that this is not actually what i've been doing all these years!!

  • SB, don't think it's a dumb question and am wondering the same however, am thinking that putting the same effort/HR into a training session on hills as you would on the flat would produce the same results?? you may not be able to run at the same speeds but am sure it would be easy to exhert the same amount of effort (thats my thinking but as a newbie happy to be corrected).

  • Undulating is 100' climb per mile. Hilly is 200' climb per mile.

    When it's hilly it will effect your training as you are using a different running style.

    If you find yurself running a flat race after only having run on hills it will effect your performance. The change of pace and stride length is easier to run than running at a constant. (If that's what you are used to).

    I would suggest that you try and find a flatter route for your tempo runs and for interval training.

    With interval training you should be working hard, if you are running up and down hill. Though you could do intervals on ups or downs - ie the whole effort is either up or down hill. So long as it's not too steep.

    Unless you run on a track you'll never find anything perfectly flat unless you are really lucky.

  • Thanks T.mouse. "Undulating is 100' climb per mile. Hilly is 200' climb per mile." so using that theory, mine is between the two. 


    I guess you're just confirming what I suspected, although it isn't overly hilly, it'd still be better if I find somewhere more flat.  Not an easy task around here but i'll keep on hunting....

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