It isn't always easy to motivate yourself to get out and go for a run, and it's even harder to motivate yourself to tackle the hills at full intensity, but these five benefits of incline running will reward the effort 10-fold! 


Builds speed & stamina

Not only is running at an incline amazing for your stamina, but it also helps build strength in your leg muscles, which improves your speed.

Running tip: Run uphill at full intensity for 10 seconds at a time – this will help build your strength. After each sprint, take a short rest period slowly jogging to the bottom of the hill.

Burns calories

Uphill running can burn 800 to 1400 calories an hour, depending on the weight of the runner – lots more than running on the flat. The heavier you are, the more calories you burn – for example if you weigh 78kg (150 lb) running uphill would burn 1000 calories in an hour! 

Works more muscles

Uphill sprinting builds muscular endurance and muscle strength because the major muscles of the body must work harder to propel your body up a hill. The slope of a hill targets the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, core and upper body and, similar to weight training, allows you to build more muscle.

Running tip: When running downhill, engage your core to strengthen these muscles, and your quads will also reap the rewards.

Builds cardiovascular endurance

Your lungs and heart will reap the benefits of sprinting uphill because your cardiovascular system will become stronger. Sprinting uphill will result in becoming a more efficient runner, overcoming the demands of a hill strengthens your lungs. Working at a more intense level places a higher demand on the heart, forcing it to become stronger through training.

Prevents shin splints

Running on flat or downhill ground can make you more susceptible to painful shin splints by putting pressure on your shin bones, but running uphill can alleviate that stress. Running uphill is easier on your shins as you organically push off the ground hard, you use your hips to do this more so than your shins.

So, get out and enjoy those hills and incorporate some inclines into your training this weekend! Start slow and build it up - your fitness and muscle tone will reap the rewards.