Hills are never easy, especially when you are starting out with your training or getting back to running after a break. At the same time there is nothing more satisfying and no better marker for your fitness than running up a hill non-stop and still having something left to carry you on. We have some tips and advice to help get you there:
- Train on hills. It might sound like the obvious but if you do not run on hills you will never attain hill-fitness. If you live in a very flat area there is always a flight of stairs, the highest incline on the treadmill or an incline somewhere which you can repeat to make up the distance.
- Breathe as deeply as you can. The muscles need oxygen more than ever now.
- Keep the torso upright to allow you to engage the powerful gluteal (buttock) muscles to help with the climb.
- Do not lean forward from the waist as this will strain the lower back and overwork the hamstrings (backs of the thighs). You will lean forward slightly as you go up but not from the waist.
- Make strong arm movements and make this your focus. The legs will follow.
- Keep your eyes and head focused ahead but not all the way up.This will stop you from hunching over. Hunching over reduces the lung volume available to you and makes deep breathing more difficult.
- Look at the hill in segments, especially if it is a long hill. Mentally it will seem more achieveable.
- If you really want to boost your uphill performance commit to running intense hill intervals. Disgusting as they are at first the results are impressive!
NOW GET OUT AND ENJOY THOSE HILLS!!