Running up hills

I regularly run with some of my colleagues in the mornings and the course we run has many hills in it.

My problem is that no matter how much boundless energy I have as soon as a reach an uphill bit my pace dramatically slows.
Does anyone have any training advice on how to improve my uphill pace?
At the moment my pace uphill is such that I could probably walk it faster.



  • You gotta practice, Lady... no, seriously;
    a)normal people run slower uphill
    b)do hill repetitions - 10mins warm up to the bottom of a nice steep 200m slope, three or more (depending on your fitness)repetitions of hard running up the slope with jog back recovery and 10mins warm down. You can vary the length of the hill and the slope from time to time, or increase the recovery distance, but the advantage of repeating the same schedule is that you can monitor your improvement by increasing the number of reps or by timing the ascents. Good luck.
  • Andrea - I know how you feel - I don't do hills unless I have to.

  • Andrea

    You have to learn to love them! Strangely I prefer to 'run' up hills - even though I am much slower and aerobically challenged whilst doing so - than running downhill which gives me a feeling of being strangely out of control!

    Maybe I am just freaky - and ultimately happiest on the flat.

  • I just don't where I'm going, ie the top. I find that if I only look 10ft ahead of me, I get there more easily. It seems so daunting when you see the distance between yourself and the top.
    Also, just remember the benefits of running up a hill - you get to run down the other side!
    I'm half serious though - I find that it improves my stamina, allowing me to recover downhill in time for the next hill. You just dont get that on the flat.

    On a final point, don't you just hate the smug comments about 'how easy it is to run downhill' from the dog walkers that you pass as you run down the other side - they conveniently forget that you had to run up the damn hill in the first place. Hrumph!
  • PS if you build some speedwork into your routine, its amazing the impact it has.
  • As Wurzel says, you gotta practice and as LT says, you may as well learn to love 'em as you'll meet them all the time and don't want to be psychologically disadvantaged when you do.

    Apart from doing hill repeats...very valuable but take it easy and make sure you have warmed up and then stretched before you start...I try to deliberately include hills in the runs I do..
  • I find it easier to get up hill if i dont look up to often. When you first look at a hill your brain imagines it to be steeper than it actually is, therefore by keeping my head down i'm already half way up before i realise, just keep concentrating where your feet are going. Good Luck
  • Andrea,

    One of my goals for next year was to break 50mins for a 10k. Then I started to incorporate hills into my training and within a couple of months (last week) I ran a pb of 48.47.

    I now do most of my training in hillier areas as it makes such a big difference in building strength and speed.

    The important thing to remember is that although they are hard, you do get used to them and it's very good training.
  • I myself am a keen fell runner who has learnt to love hills! I find as soon as you hit the hill is to reduce your stride and concentrate on your breathing and DONT look for the top of the hill. With practise they'll get easier
  • Move to the Fens - the you would actually love to find a hill to run up!
  • Move to Snowdonia!!! Is it true there are places that are actually flat, then? Amazing.
  • GavoGavo ✭✭✭
    I used to hate running up hills but just got used to it & now incorporate at least 1 in all of my training runs. There has been discussions here in the past about leaning forward or back and what part of your foot to land on all that but just do whatever becomes natural for you. Running hills for me takes the place of speedwork & it's great for muscle strength & stamina in my opinion.
  • I agree with all the above - one more tip though, which I find very useful, is to keep my effort level constant.

    In other words - don't even attempt to maintain the same speed uphill as you do on the flat. However, do attempt to put in the same amount of effort. That way you won't get any more out of breath than normal.

    Hill training hurts like mad when you do it, but is strangely staisfying, particularly when you speed past other runners in the next race with a hill :o)
  • My friends and I are setting ourselves hard targets in the Surrey hills and I really do find it hard to keep motivated going up the long gradual hills, shorter steeper hills seem to suit me more. Has anyone got any technique advice for tackling hills in general e.g. running on the balls of the foot etc? I agree with not looking too far ahead, by the time I get anywhere near the top I am delirious anyway!
  • Hills kill me..... Must do more of them.... Hmmm this running malarky is weird isn't it?!

    I would love to be able to run hills, I guess practice makes perfect!
  • Hills!!! but aren't they great when you get to the top
  • SlugstaSlugsta ✭✭✭
    I have been told that it is best to run on the toes when going up hills, and to shorten your stride (however, this doesn't work for me!). Use your arms to help you and, as already said, don't look too far ahead.
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