Hill Training

Hey looking for my dream race and I've signed up for Hill X in September based on the South Downs. ....... Whoops, this isn't my dream race,  Any advice on dealing and incorporasting hills into my training?


  • well obvsiouly you could include hills in your route of training to get your body more used to this type of endurance and new form of exercising. also, the more you get your stamina up and your long distance times the more likely you willl be able to run this race to a higher standard. hope this helps! image

  • if you're a member of a club, see if there's a coach who can advise on hill technique and/or a programme of hill reps....if there's a club near you, think about joining!

  • keep the same cadence but shorten your stride

    it will feel like you are taking baby steps but best for tackling hills!

  • Beware race names in future that include Hill or X or Monster etc.  But hill training now is going to help on the day.

  • Looks like hills may be the easy part ...  "You will deal with hills, mud, water & uneven terrain oh and expect the unexpected!"

    As for hills - looks like you need some steep ones to practise reps on, rather than long gentle ones. The race route looks to be reps for the fun of it !

  • Hey thanks for all your advice.  Short strides and steep hills,  I'm off to find that location and, with anywhere at present, mud will be included!  Any other hot tips gratefully received

  • Hills work on differing gradients, so make the lengths of your strides change in gradient too. I've heard that a problem with runners used to flats is that they have just a flat mode and a hill mode with less in between, and aren't accustomed to altering them quickly.

    I think it'll come naturally to judge the gradient, but say you'll be only shortening your strides a little at a 5% gradient, and it'll decrease until say 30%, where you almost feel like you're running on the spot. Often at gradients like that, others start walking. It's definitely possible to beat their walking pace running even when it's that steep, but you'll likely start walking yourself if the route includes steeper path, and I'd recommend keeping your hands off your quads if you walk them, no matter how natural it might feel for them to go there!

    Since you've only mentioned hills we've no idea how steep they are though. Give some of the route an inspection beforehand, and if not check it on a contour map.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    Ah, I know round there, you can see much of the route from the road. It's a moto cross course so is steep and, well, muddy. You probably can't walk the route in advannce but there are some footpaths that will give you a good idea of what you are letting yourself in for.

    The hills for the most part are short and sweet - see if you can look at an OS map - bikehike is excellent, you can look at the google mapnext to the os map.

    I find for really short steep hills the best approach is just to power up - carry on over the crest.

    When faced with a long hill don't slow down, maintain effort, if you reduce effort you'll find it harder to pull it back at the top. Most hills look worse than they actually are.

    If you can, from now on in do all your running over the downs. Find the hilliest routes you can - find the most challenging hills and keep at them until you can run up them.

    I train on the South Downs all the time. You need to be able to run downhill as well as up. Running downhill isn't as obvious as running up hill.

    To run downhill you need to let gravity take you, don't try and brake or you'll hurt your knees. Use your arms for balance.

    Running off road you need to watch where you put your feet. (she says to herself) falling over can hurt, falling over while running at pace downhill through the woods can really hurt. I have the proof. image

    I do a lot of hill running, hill reps, hill undualtions. It all helps you get stronger.

  • yes hill trening is good

    in last year i joine hill trening

  • Hill Reps just done, pretty tough going but its my first night of training.    #i'm going to hurt tomorrow!


    Thanks guys


  • Oh my, a whole new world of pain to explore. image I thought gentle inclines were bad enough. Well good   for you sammy w.

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