How To Train For Running Using Hills | Uphill Run Training Explained

How To Train For Running Using Hills | Uphill Run Training Explained

(upbeat music) – Hills love them or hate them, they can be a great training tool. And if they’re in a race, well, you’ve got no of avoiding them. So today, we’re going to be covering how best to get up hills
of varying gradients, and how to incorporate
them in your training to overall improve your
running performance. (ominous music) (upbeat music) The biggest turnoff when it comes to hills is the fact that you’re
going to be going slower for the same amount of effort. You’ve obviously got to
battle the effects of gravity, so moving your body weight
forwards becomes a lot harder, and therefore you’re
going to be moving slower. So it’s an important first step to adapt your pace accordingly. With that in mind, you
need to measure your run by effort as opposed to pace, whether that’s by feel
and perceived effort, or heart rate, or even
power if you’re using that. You’ll get a far more realistic idea of how hard you’re working. And it’s best to ignore pace altogether unless it’s a hill that
you’re familiar with and you know how long
it normally takes you. And remember, if you are using heart rate, there’ll be a slight lag as it catches up on
that increase in effort. (upbeat music) On that note, if you’re just
getting back to fitness, or if you’re new to running, it’s completely fine to walk up hills as you’re likely to be putting
in the same amount of effort as you would be if you were
jogging gently on the flat. Now, also is great for
early season running when you’re just trying to get fit, as hills will naturally work
your cardiovascular system that much harder without
putting as much impact on your joints as you would do if you’re running on the
flat or down the hill. (upbeat music) There’s more to come on
how to train with hills, but first let’s address
why, what are the benefits? Well, hills add in gravity and therefore, it acts like resistance
training to your leg muscles. Incorporating uphill running
will make you stronger, you’ll feel your glutes
and your calf muscles, and it does change your gait as you’ll naturally land
more on your forefoot, and you’ll start to use
the posterior chain, those muscles at the back of your legs. As well as propelling your body forward, you’ll be taking it up hill, so think of it as a small box steps. a hill rep session can replace
a leg session in the gym. But then flip that around, and if you want to get better at hills, but don’t have any nearby,
work on box step ups, split squats, and deadlifts to help. It’s important to maintain good form when you’re running uphill, and it’ll soon become
obvious if you don’t have it. So you want to focus on
keeping your chest up and your shoulders back, as it will make running up
a hill that much easier. And then it’ll also
reinforce that good technique which will hopefully stay with you when you return to the flat. And the same goes with your arms, so make sure you use them
to help with your balance, but also to propel you
forwards and upwards. (upbeat music) Okay, I think I’ve
convinced you and myself that hills are great, so now how do we incorporate
them into your training? Well, heel reps are the obvious answer, so you need to find a heel that you like, or more importantly, that suits. So if it’s power that you want to work on, you need to find something
that’s shorter and steeper. Now, a get idea for this
is to run hard as you can 20 seconds up a hill,
and if it’s steep enough, that’ll certainly feel like a long time, and then walk back down for your recovery. Repeat that six times through, then take a two-minute jog
recovery to loosen out your legs, go back to the bottom
and repeat it once more. But do feel free to play around with the amount of reps or
sets, and how much rest you have depending on your fitness,
and then you can progress this as you become fitter and stronger. (upbeat music) Building strength and endurance
is great during the winter, and important in your preseason training. So for this, you want to find
a longer more gradual hill, one that you can run up at
a steady but strong pace for two minutes, and then jog
back down as your recovery. Now, you want to aim to
repeat these four to six times all as a continuous effort, and you want to try and
maintain the same speed and pace going up the hill each time. Hills are also great for variety, so think of adding them
into your longer run ’cause they’ll give you
that nice mental break as well as activating different muscles, and you also get the strength component. And when it comes to your long run, pace doesn’t matter anyway. The final version of hill
reps is canyon hills. Now, we’ve talked about these
in detail in a previous video, so you can check that out, it’ll be in the description below. But you need to find a hill or a route that’s on the side of a hill, so you can run up along the top, back down the hill along the bottom to reach the start of your hill again. And it’s a good idea to
work hard on the uphill, hard along the top, recover
down, and then you can build as you’re going back along the bottom. And for this, depending
on how big the loop is, you can run continuously
for around five minutes, and then repeat that three to four times with the rest after each five minutes. We now need to address how
best to get up these hills, whether that’s in training, or racing. And I’ve already mentioned
the importance of your arms to help with the leg drive,
’cause as you’re going uphill, you going to have to lift
your knee and foot higher on each step in order to
overcome the rising ground that’s in front of you. It’s okay to shorten your stride when you’re running up the hill, and it’s a mistake to
actually try and maintain that same length and rhythm you have when you’re on the flat, so focus on really keeping that cadence up and your legs moving. And it’s also really important
to think about your gaze and look up the hill where you’re going, as this will naturally help
with your posture as well. The best thing about running
uphill, you get the descent. So make sure you enjoy it, and if you’re using hills in training, then you can use your descent
as part of your recovery. And if you’re racing, then again, use it to recover and
get your legs moving, so that they’re ready for
that next uphill challenge. And if you want more tips
on how to run downhill, we’ve actually got a video on that which will share with you
in the description below. Hills can be a great
excuse to run off road too, and discover new areas, ’cause you’re going to be
going slowly up a hill, so it’s easy to check your footing, and also just enjoy that surrounding. And if you’re somewhere
where there’s a lot of mud, well, that’s just going to make
you work even harder as well. Well, I personally love
using hills to train, as I just take the pressure off it, it’s enough of a challenge just to get to the top of the hill, you don’t have to worry about
pace, you can run to time, and it allows you to just
run for the pure joy of it. So go out there and embrace those hills, they can be our friends, I promise you. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed
it, give us a thumbs up, like and click on the globe to make sure you get
all of our GTM videos. And for a video on canyon hills that we talked about earlier, you can find that just down here. And if you’re currently working 10K, but you want to train for a half marathon. Well, we’ve got a great
video for you, just here.

20 thoughts on “How To Train For Running Using Hills | Uphill Run Training Explained

  1. Hello, I have a question for you at GTN. What type and models of socks do you wear for different types of running, this is something I struggle on a lot .
    Thank you:)

  2. Luv hill training to feel the burn. Still early in my marathon training so I’m not sure if I’ve seen any noticeable benefit. But my upcoming vlog will have my hill training.

  3. I ran hills at the local MTB park while training for a 5K last month. I'm glad I did, because the entire last mile of the race was unexpectedly uphill. I thought "I'm okay, I trained for this", and I ran a time I was happy with.

  4. MAN!! There is this place down the road, its a gigantic hill, most use it for running, but I hated it, because until now I didn’t know how to master it.. If only it wasn’t frost bitten outside… Gotta put this off till summer

  5. 6x200m hill running done today and I when was coming back home running another 3km I went down to to the ground and injured my right knee , ridiculous , I can’t even walk 😩

  6. Thanks Heather, I have been trying to incorporate hills once every two weeks, this make me realise I am not mad and I will reap the benefits. How do you think hill training compares between real hill and indoor treadmill training ? The weather is getting poor up here in Scotland and it not alway suitable for outdoors. Love the team and great you have a Scot on the team.

  7. I love hills but have been prone to Achilles Tendinitis. How do you suggest to warm up/cool down to keep the from getting it again? Or alternative to hills? Maybe with weights?

  8. You need to warm up very well before running hills. If you run hills on cold legs/muscles you have a high probability of getting serious foot injuries including extensor tendinitis and morton's neuroma. The importance of warming up should mandatory be a precursor to any video about running hills.

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