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# How hilly is your run??

Like most runners, I love a hill (!!) But how hilly is "hilly"?

To help with this mindless wondering when out on a long run, I devised the Steepness Index or STINker!! Is your run an easy stinker, hilly stinker, strenuous stinker or a severe stinker?? Let me know your thoughts.

CLICK FOR THE HILLY INDEX

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• Love it - good work Stinker

D

• I probably started thinking about it halfway up some stinker of a hill!!

• How are you counting elevation on your web page, elevation from lowest point anywhere to highest point anywhere, or total accumulated feet climbed, obviously a huge difference.

• @lardarse I use the Garmin elevation. So, on a circular run it might say 360 feet up, 360 feet down (ending at the same level you started!!) and it also gives highest point and lowest point. I would use the 360 as the figure and if it was a 7.20 mile run then an index of 50% (relatively easy).

So, it's every foot of uphill. Hence Hadrian's Wall (which we ran in 4 days) had a day which was a stinker (up and down, up and down) and we did 15.74 miles and 2178 feet of uphill (a "stinker" of 138%). It seems to give a "fact" basis for a "feeling" in terms of "hillyness".

• My way of determining how hilly a hill is is by how much I am blowing out my a.....

• @carterusm True!! but I'm a statto!!

• I think the point being made by lardarse is that you could have a run of 15 miles with just one rapid climb of 1000 feet and the rest being flat as a pancakle being considered more hilly than a 15 mile run where you are up and down hills all the way but only making 700 feet of elevation at the highest point.

Anyone with half a brain would rather run the "more hilly" run in those two scenarios.

• Strangely Brown wrote (see)

I think the point being made by lardarse is that you could have a run of 15 miles with just one rapid climb of 1000 feet and the rest being flat as a pancakle being considered more hilly than a 15 mile run where you are up and down hills all the way but only making 700 feet of elevation at the highest point.

Anyone with half a brain would rather run the "more hilly" run in those two scenarios.

Take your point. I mainly run long cross country type trails where, I suppose, it is like for like. I would tend to divide your example into 3x5 mile segments and say in example 1 it was easy/easy/severe and example 2 it was hilly/hilly/hilly

• Ivor Reveley wrote (see)
Strangely Brown wrote (see)
I think the point being made by lardarse is that you could have a run of 15 miles with just one rapid climb of 1000 feet and the rest being flat as a pancakle being considered more hilly than a 15 mile run where you are up and down hills all the way but only making 700 feet of elevation at the highest point. Anyone with half a brain would rather run the "more hilly" run in those two scenarios.

Take your point. I mainly run long cross country type trails where, I suppose, it is like for like. I would tend to divide your example into 3x5 mile segments and say in example 1 it was easy/easy/severe and example 2 it was hilly/hilly/hilly

Just re-read your post - it's the amount of "up" rather than the highest point of elevation. (your example 2 may show 1500 of "uphill" on a Garmin and would be "more hilly" than the Example 1 (although not reaching the same altitude!!). every uphill foot is counted even with undulations.

• That could work I guess.

To play along, my usual routs come out to:

45%

50%

43%

They are very undulating though so although not considered all that hilly by your measures, they do feel pretty hilly to me.  It's the main bug bear I have with training here, it's really hard for me to understand what my race pace shouuld be when all my training is done on hills.

• Ivor - Does your Biggin Hill run take you up Salt Box Hill by any chance?  That's a bit of a stinker!  That's my bike riding patch - out through Bromley then anywhere between Sevenoaks and Westerham (Westerham Hill, Star Hill, Brasted Hill, Titsey Hill...) or further out to Toyes Hill/Ide Hill.  Maybe I'll adapt your index for scoring my bike rides.

• Strangely Brown wrote (see)

That could work I guess.

To play along, my usual routs come out to: 45% 50% 43% They are very undulating though so although not considered all that hilly by your measures, they do feel pretty hilly to me.  It's the main bug bear I have with training here, it's really hard for me to understand what my race pace shouuld be when all my training is done on hills.

That's very true!! Because my main focus is on running 30K a day for four successive days once a year, then I encourage hilly, undulating cross country type training with my group. 14 of us ran Hadrian's Wall and this year it's the Cornish Coast Path (Portreath - Porthleven 120K). roughly 12,000 feet of uphill and 75 miles (160%). We know it's going to be a stinker without getting more than 300 feet up at any one time.

Some of our group run 5K time trials like Parkrun and it takes a few Saturday mornings to get the race pace right BUT the leg strength and stamina pays off from the training.

Bring on Offa's Dyke in 2014!!

• Sounds totally mental!

I must do it one day

• PhilPub wrote (see)

Ivor - Does your Biggin Hill run take you up Salt Box Hill by any chance?  That's a bit of a stinker!  That's my bike riding patch - out through Bromley then anywhere between Sevenoaks and Westerham (Westerham Hill, Star Hill, Brasted Hill, Titsey Hill...) or further out to Toyes Hill/Ide Hill.  Maybe I'll adapt your index for scoring my bike rides.

Ah favourite stamping ground!! We meet at the King's Arms in Leaves Green (not far from the top of Salt Box Hill and then have a 10 mile circuit that goes up and down the valley where SBH is (but on trails). We head down to Keston Church and then back to the pub for a big breakfast!!

If you do the STINker test on your bike rides, let me know if it makes sense!!

• Cool!  I normally just record distance/time off my simple bike computer but if I think of it I'll take the Garmin next time and see what comes out. If I'm feeling like a hard session I'll do a "three hill" ride, which might be going out to Toyes Hill and coming back via Star Hill and one other, for something like a 50 mile round trip.  That should be worth a bit of elevation.

• Any maths experts here?

I think the formula should take into account the overall and net ascent AND the % of the run you spend climbing. Maybe something like this (but might be complete rubbish)..

Hscore = (Ascent + (Net ascent / 2)) * (1+((Distance climb - distance descent)/total distance) / Total Distance.

• My usual route is 124% by the same method in the OP link.

•

Olympus marathon, 9184 feet.... 350%

(unless i've quite likely got the maths wrong!)

• Do you have a conversion factor for metres and kilometres? I understand miles but can't work feet.

• I have my own approx guide which you can do without any maths.

If I use your method, hilly would be 100%. Anything less is just undulating.

• Hi,

Interesting method.

I'm planning to do a 17 miler tomorrow around Box Hill in Surrey, and would expect this to be somewhere in between 100-180% in terms of "stink" ness... My route will be loosely based in the Midsummer Munro ( a half marathon with a stink factor of 225%), but I will probably miss out two of the big climbs that are so steep you need steps....

I really like hill running....
• lardarse wrote (see)

Olympus marathon, 9184 feet.... 350%   (unless i've quite likely got the maths wrong!)

No, you're right!! What a stinker that must have been!!

• T.mouse wrote (see)

I have my own approx guide which you can do without any maths.

If I use your method, hilly would be 100%. Anything less is just undulating.

Yes, I agree...once you get past 100%, you know you're on a hilly rumble!!

• YoungPup wrote (see)
Hi,

Interesting method.

I'm planning to do a 17 miler tomorrow around Box Hill in Surrey, and would expect this to be somewhere in between 100-180% in terms of "stink" ness... My route will be loosely based in the Midsummer Munro ( a half marathon with a stink factor of 225%), but I will probably miss out two of the big climbs that are so steep you need steps....

I really like hill running....

Thanks YoungPup, seems to work for you, then

• I'm sad enough to have spent some time doing the conversions. My last ten runs have stinker ratings from 140% to 250%, with an average of 193%. Well, thats confirmed that I live in a fairly hilly area!

• Johnny again wrote (see)

I'm sad enough to have spent some time doing the conversions. My last ten runs have stinker ratings from 140% to 250%, with an average of 193%. Well, thats confirmed that I live in a fairly hilly area!

Great work!! Where do you live - clearly has plenty of stonking hills!!

• Hi Ivor

how are u

the photo, i know the area well, St ives, i grew up around and nr there and ran through the waves for hours and on coastal paths for hours

the real hills though are in Cumbria were we ahve done many miles , all day walks and runs - HILLS, HILS AND HILLS

Hi Ivor

how are u the photo, i know the area well, St ives, i grew up around and nr there and ran through the waves for hours and on coastal paths for hours the real hills though are in Cumbria were we ahve done many miles , all day walks and runs - HILLS, HILS AND HILLS

I appreciate I'm talking about hills rather than mountains!! (although in younger days I walked the Pennine Way and done many walks in the Lakes). I only came to running at 45 (I'm 55 now) and the last 4 years we've done "fourdaysrunning" for charity. Last year we did Hadrian's Wall (so at least we could see Helvellyn!!).

• wishing u well with it all

55, same age as myself,

that photo bought back memories to me, though i left there 26 years ago

and the Lakes i - or we love as well -

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