What benefits do you get when you include lots of hills on a long run?

My long run is normally in the 13-16 mile range and includes a few steep hills.  I know from doing hill reps you can gain benefits but will doing hills in long runs (albeit slow) also give you benefits?.  


  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    It will definitely help your strength. I really like doing hilly long runs and hilly tempos, although not many proper hills around me. If you're racing on the road I'd say it's also good to do some running on flatter routes to get ticking along at a nice rhythm. I know plenty of people who are put off by a few hills in a race but if you do it in training it won't seem like such a big deal come race day. The variety hills provide is good for working the muscle groups differently, which will contribute to running faster on the flat. I think a hilly trail run is the best way to keep things interesting too, rather than just slogging along a flat boring road. So yeah, I think it gives you plenty of benefits, keep it up.
  • Nice views hopefully.
  • I agree with everything HA77 said. Often people, who ran only on track, come uprepared and later just give up on a hilly race.
  • Running uphill increases hamstring strength, aerobic capacity and endurance. Running downhills increases quad strength and improves speed and balance. Consistent running uphill and downhill will gradually lead to improvement in running on flat track as a result of improved fitness over time.
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