Best Tips for Running Hills

I survived my second week of hill running today and while I was pushing up the hill, I thought, there must be some sort of trick to this? As I’m still relatively new to running (started last March) and am now training for Big Sur, a race known for its hilly course, I thought I’d take to Twitter and ask my followers, what are the best tips for running hills? Here’s what they said…
  1. Ok runners, I need your help. What are your tips for running up really, really big hills? #marathontraining #runchat
  2. @FitHappyGirl Short steps, pump those arms, head down, focus on steady breathing, most of all enjoy the process of climbing the hill.
  3. @FitHappyGirl #runchat #believe you can do it for staters!! Pump the arms and push from the knees and also practice hill #sprints
  4. Get a power song “@FitHappyGirl: Ok runners, I need your help. tips for running up really, really big hills? #marathontraining #runchat
  5. @fithappygirl Try powerhiking or run short strides, drop shoulders, lean forward slightly, maintain steady pace. #marathontraining #runchat
  6. @FitHappyGirl Attack it like a knight approaching a dragon. Slow and steady at the base, save your strength for the head ;)
  7. @NMoralesNBC @fithappygirl stay on your toes, slow down, watch your heart rate. If you are heart rate training you might even need walk
  8. @NMoralesNBC @fithappygirl What’s the ‘downside’ in this? Is @ryangosling at the bottom of said hills w/wine & flowers? “Hey girl …”
  9. @FitHappyGirl Lean into the hills and raise your knees up as you stride.
  10. @NMoralesNBC @FitHappyGirl trail runner 4 years, don’t look up, don’t look for the top. You will get there, keep the head down n push!
  11. @FitHappyGirl Fast walking instead of running, making sure my breathing stays steady and then resuming normal pace at the top. #runchat
  12. @NMoralesNBC @FitHappyGirl small, mincing steps; keep your eyes up; power up your arms swing; and mentally break up the hill. #gogetem
  13. @fithappygirl @NMoralesNBC Don’t underestimate walking big hills in terms of saving energy and your legs.
  14. @FitHappyGirl – 1- Get mentally ready for pain 2- slow down and focus on both quads and both calves 3 – endure pain from #1.

16 thoughts on “Best Tips for Running Hills

  1. Thanks for posting these tweets – very helpful.

    I ran a half marathon Labor Day last year and underestimated the hills on the course. I really didn’t know how to approach them and pretty much paid the price towards the end of the race with a much slower time. You’re smart to have an approach and train with prior to the race.

    Based on the tweets, looks like leaning forward and slowing down are the right strategy.

    Good luck with your training.

    • I’m glad you found this helpful! It’s always a good idea to go into a race with a strategy especially if there are any significant changes in elevation. I’m still getting used to running hills but practicing is the only way to improve. I’m definitely going to try some of these tips when I attempt my hill workout again next week. Happy running!

    • I definitely need to try to focus on this more next time I run hills. I think I run too upright going up the hill and that can’t be good for breathing. Thanks!

    • Thank you! I’m glad these tips helped! I agree, I love hearing what other people use to motivate themselves through tough runs. There’s always more to learn!

    • It builds so much more strength and endurance. I never did before last week but I’ve already noticed a difference in my other runs.

    • Thanks! I’ve been using the strap more to stretch out my IT Band and it’s been super helpful. Also, as always, foam roll.

  2. I always lean into the hill and concentrate on pumping my arms, and this probably will sound funny but whenever I get tired in a race (or on a hill), I count in my head. It tends to keep my feet moving along at a nice clip and takes my mind off of being tired! It works for me, anyway!

  3. Pingback: TGIFriday Faves. | thedancingrunner

  4. Drive your arms back further. Instead of going hip to chin, go butt to slightly past your hip. This will bring your knees up higher and help you drive up the hill.

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