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 conquer the hill.

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.