Techniques for Running Hills

How to run hills! Whether you love them or hate them, hills should be an integral part of your running routine. Training hills significantly improves your strength, speed, muscle power and anaerobic capability so what’s not to love!

But what’s the best running technique to get the most out of your hill running? I’ve put together some tips on how to be a better hill runner, whether it’s up or down.

Uphill
Don’t lean too far forward when you’re running uphill. You’ll restrict the air getting into your lungs and this in turn will give you less movement to bring your knees up.

Try and stay tall and look ahead in the direction that you’re going.

Lift your knees and land on your forefoot

Use short, light footed steps instead of striding.

Pump your arms to give you more drive and momentum going up the hill.

Walk! Sometimes, if you’re on a very large incline, it’s more efficient for you to walk up the hill than it is to run.

Downhill
Don’t lean too far back, try and keep yourself centered and engage your core muscles.

If it’s a really steep downward hill and you’re going faster than you’d like, shorten your stride. However, practice longer strides and with a slight forwards lean (leaning back ‘puts on the brakes’).

Make sure you’re looking down the hill and not down at your feet.

For better balance, put your arms out to the side.

When you’re next running hills try leaning back and forward and see what a different the two make.

Do you like running hills or avoid them at all costs? Have you managed to improve your hill running?

how to be a hill running pro | mastering uphill and downhill running
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4 responses to “Techniques for Running Hills”

  1. jaicommunity says:

    Love trail running most of all – it is tougher but the atmosphere is just better. Hills are one of those training elements that people just do not do enough of. Even the smallest grade for a period of time can do you in, so hills are a must. Thanks for sharing

  2. Laurie says:

    Really enjoyed reading your article. Very helpful. Great pictures! I am training for a marathon that is mostly downhill. I used to be a very good downhill runner, but not sure if I am as good as I used to be. Thanks for the tips on techniques!

  3. […] Sunday | Week 7 | Race Day Minchinhampton 10k yayyyyy I’ve been looking forward to this race all week. For some, unknown, reason I’d bargained with myself that this was going to be a great race for me and I was going to get a time under an hour. I don’t know where this bravado came from and I felt a little defeated when I read the course details last night and they described it as ‘undulating’ which isn’t my strong point (although I’m much much better at running hills now, read how here). […]

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