To many hills are the enemy, they’re a hindrance, standing in the way of fast times, a burden to be endured, a muscle-sapping, lung-bursting experience.
However it doesn’t have to be that way with our top-five tips to help you #conquerthehill:
- GOOD FORM – Most runners naturally lean into hills, however it’s important to remain nice and tall with only a slight forward lean when running up hill. This helps to maintain knee drive and balance, which in turn maintains good form and technique. Keep your head and eyes focused ahead, but not all the way up.
- SHORTEN YOUR STRIDE – When running up hill try not to slow your stride, instead shorten it, which will in turn help control your breathing, preventing you from breathing too rapidly during the race. Small strides will also help get you up the incline more comfortably than big ones.
- PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT – When training for a hilly race it’s important to implement hill work into your weekly training schedule. Learn to love hills by running hill intervals, hilly continuous runs and even indoor hill sessions on a treadmill, which can also help to build confidence for race day. Remember hills are tough on the body so don’t do more than one hill session per week.
- KEEP MOVING OVER THE TOP – Looking to find those extra seconds? When training always remember to run strong off the top of the hill, come race day you’ll fly past fellow competitors stopping for a breather at the top of the hill.
- FOCUS ON OTHER RUNNERS – Use other runners as targets during up hill sections, you’ll be amazed how many you catch by maintaining a steady pace and rhythm.
Jonny Mellor is Great Run Training's resident elite athlete. Having ran since the age of 14, Jonny now competes for Great Britain over track, road and cross-country and has recently won the British 10,000m Championships as well as representing Team England at the Commonwealrth Games. Follow Jonny's advice on Great Run Training Facebook and Twitter.