whats the best way to train on a hill?

i have a 400m hill at my work at about 12% incline (i think using my comparison of other hills that are actually signposted with gradient)

im trying to train using this hill to reduce recovery time and build muscle power in my legs for rugby and also a side goal of the edinburgh 10k in may next year

todays 1st session was 5x100m at about 80-90% (run up, walk down)

this a good start after a 10minute warm up??



  • thats a good session to build power. (wont help much with the 10k)

    This is a good session for 10k training:

    Run the 400m up at current 5k pace, jog recovery back down x 4-8 (increase reps as you improve, dont do more than 8 in one session)

    make sure you have a good warm up and cool down.

    what time you hoping for the 10k?

  • Good hill running advice Cliff.  What's your gradient?   About 100%?

    Sorry. Terrible pun image

    Good advice though.  SNB's sessions need some variation... and I like your option.

    SNB... if you're  looking for some power sessions, then 5 is the absolute minimum number of reps I'd look at.   If doing 100m uphill sprints, I think you need to slow down a little, so that you're able to get 7-8 reps in.  It allows the body more opportunity to adapt to the training. (like weight training in the gym... you don't pick up a weight that's close the heaviest you can lift... you pick a weight you can push up and down quite a few times).   4-8 reps is good for most intervals... but at the shortest distances, then doing just 4-5 isn't (IMO) quite worth getting a sweat up for!

  • Hey Cliff cheers for your reply to be honest im looking to go sub 60 so not really expecting much! im running my first 5k at Falkirk Park run this Saturday i think so that might give me a better indication

    NN thanks for your advice too, ill give it a go to maybe reduce my speed to try push another couple of reps out ... my biggest problem is i only have 30 minuters effort time for lunch by the time my warm up and cool down/shower time is added in

  • 400m at 12% is big hill.  You could use mapmyrun or similar to determin the gradient.  The hill I use is just over 300m and approximately 15m climb so approximately 5% which I do at about 5-10k pace. 

    Anyway, I suggest a couple of alternative options:

    Run hard up and down the whole thing with jog back down to recover.

    Run hard up the whole hill, jog back half way, run hard back to the top, run quarter of the way back down, run hard to the top, jog all the way back down, rest and repeat. So your doing 400, 200, 100 sets, or do it as 400, 200, 100, 200, 400 with full recovery at the end of each set.

    Just try a bit of variety. The number and pace of the reps will be dependent on the steepness of the hill and your fitness and the time you have available, but I would suggest starting with about 10 minutes of hard uphill running gradually increasing to 20 mins or more.

    Uphill runnining requires high knees and forefoot strike so use hills to practice good form.

  • Lou thanks for your reply i'll map my run it when i get home! il give your sessions a try too - lots of variation to stop getting bored will be ideal



  • sorry i have found out its actually only 10% but its 700m not 400m ... my measuring is a little on the short side

    i tried the ladder training today and it was TOUGH but had to stop after 8mins thanks to a cracking great blister on my foot


  • Still pretty steep.  Perhaps run based on time, so do 2 min, 1min, 30s etc.


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