Hill Training

I live in a reasonably hilly area. I cannot run more than a mile on flat ground. At some point, generally more than once for a five miler, I encounter hills, .... steep, shallow, the lot.
Will I suffer over a period of years from doing so much hard training? At the moment, I really boost my times, because of all the strength training that I naturally incur, and have recently produced PBs (in my late 30s).
Does anyone have the same surrounding undulating problems?


  • Skippy, enjoy! Those hills are your friends. You are only likely to suffer structural damage to your joints if you're not careful going down the steeper slopes.

    Like you, I can't run far from home without encountering "undulations", and live on top of a hill. At first the upswings were excuses to have walking breaks, and I've measured my progress according to which hills I have to slow down on and which I can push the pace on. When none of them slow me down, the evillest of all will be pressed into service for hill reps.
  • At least you do have some hills - I get excited about the bridge over a nearby dual carriageway. It gets just a tad dull going up and down and up and down the same relatively small incline! It also makes me very nervous about entering any races that say they are undulating.
  • Some of my most pleasant dreams involve long flat runs. I live on the edge of the south Pennines and console myself that I have little to fear from rising sea levels. I did a lot of running on holiday in west Wales this year, doing circular runs from various beaches such as Tresaith and Llangrannog. The climbs from these up to the coastal road were some of the most gruelling I have ever done. If they ever stage a marathon in that part of the world, include me out.
  • As V-rap says, enjoy them, I wish I had more hills on my doorstep, I have to drive for twenty minutes to get a half decent incline, If anyone knows of a good undulating area near the Middx/Surrey border I would be most grateful.
  • Skippy,

    we hill-dwelling people should be grateful for our environment. I live in Staffordshire and anyone who's done the Potteries Marathon will tell you its not flat round here, since we have Staffs Moorlands on our doorstep. Don't forget the hill work will strengthen the major muscle groups in your legs, which of course one of the first things a physio would do if you had suffered from a joint injury say in your knees as strong muscles help stabilise joints.

    Agree completely with velociraptor though about going downhill. I personally think this is much worse for you from a physical injury point of view than going uphill (I lost 3 toenails the last time I had long downhill runs in a half marathon and had sore hot knees for about a week afterwards).
  • Living in York a hill is about as common as a dinosaur is walking the streets of Britian. If I want a hill its a car journey out into the dales, moors or coast...but it is worth it as hilly terain offers peace, beauty and awsome running country.
  • Mark you could always run up Garrowby Hill ;)
  • Mark, have you run up Sutton Bank??
  • ooooooooooooh nasty !!
  • I live in plymouth- very hilly as is surrounding countryside. Have also ,lived in Fenland, Lincs- flat as it comes. Now i do appreciate my hills and enjoy them !
  • I love the fact I live in an 'undulating' area. Nearly every run I do ends with a hill, which I run or try to run at a faster pace. I think it's important not to run every hill slow or you just become a good slow hill runner!

  • Runnerbean + Mercury, I have ran up both Garrowby Hill and Sutton Bank...and lets say the feeling in my legs afterward was less than desirable - Real mean hills. There is a shorter bank that leads onto Garrowby Hill (A166) from Bishop Wilton, I think its called Worsendale Road which is steeper than Garrowby Hill, and I find it a much more rewarding victory to get to the top. Thing is I do most of my running during my lunch 2 hours and getting out to these locations and back with York traffic is impossible so its strictly a weekend thing. But I appreciate the suggestions. I gather you are both local?
  • I did my best and enjoyable run when I ran in the Clowne Half Marathon two years ago. That is hilly but I did 1:57. When I did the Brass Monkey Half later (flat!), I did 2:05! I wouldn't say I LIKE hills but I perform better than on flat courses. A friend of mine won't enter any races unless they are flat and she is able to get a PB. I told her to get a life!!
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    Having moved from central London to the London/Hertfordshire borders I'm quite enjoying having a few hills on my new routes. I live on top of a hill so all my runs start with a downhill and end with a steep uphill. I definitely think I've got fitter since I started running these routes, although hills are none too pleasant when you're going up and the wind is coming down straight at you!
  • i live in northern ireland, if there's anyone else around there who lives in the same belfast city area, e-mail me,
    but i live in the antrim hills, brilliant. the area i live in has so many little roads and big roads that you can pick and choose the course you want depending on how you feel, or how hard oyu need to train that day. on my 10km course, i have one large hill, about a 1min run up--so i can run half my 10k run, stop the watch, do 6 or 7 hills on that hill, start the watch and run home again, aver less, but no less appreciale hills. i think it's fantastic, people don't know what there missing.

    and i'll tell you somehting for nothing, talk about the best of both worlds, in spain this summer, i stuck on my old shoes and went running over the sand dunes about the north coast of spain, you got the benefit of the ultimate off road surface-sand, plus the hills. it was something like heaven------soz, i went on a bit there............
  • Glad I was never a runner when I lived in York
  • Mark Smith; No I'm not local to Yorks, but have holidayed near Sutton Bank a couple of years ago. Definitely a mean hill!
  • I live in Derby and my husband and I want to start hill running, were are resonably fit and want to try something different. 

    Anybody know where we can partake in a hill run in Derby ?

  • I am currently training for a half marathon and have been told that the course is very hilly and pretty tough. 

    I did a little bit of hill training on Saturday. I have never done it before and am not entirely sure if I did it correctly or there is anything else I should be doing. 

    Does anyone have any pointers for me?



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