Hills are never easy, especially when you are starting out or getting back to running after a break. But there’s 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. Running uphill may never be your idea of heaven but here are our top tips to stop it from feeling like hell!


Train on hills!  

It might sound obvious but if you don’t 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.

Get your breathing right

Breathe as deeply as you can; those muscles need oxygen more than ever. Keep your eyes and head focused ahead but not all the way up. This will stop you from hunching over. Hunching over reduces lung volume available and makes deep breathing more difficult.

Get your posture and position right

Keep your torso upright to allow you to engage the powerful gluteal (buttock) muscles to help with the climb. Don’t 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.

Break it down

Look at the hill and break it into segments, especially if it is a long hill. Mentally it will seem more achievable to take it a segment at a time.

Do some interval training

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!
So, now you’ve got running uphill sorted, what about running downhill?