Couch to 5K
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How Do You Rate a Hill Run ?

Fairly new to hill running and just trying to get a sense of how to compare different climbs. The run home yesterday included 2.94 miles with a total ascent of 288.71 ft.

I know how to calculate the gradient but MapMyRun rates it as a 5 yet there's no scale to compare.

I guess this is a combination of height, distance and time taken, but does anyone know how to rate different climbs and was that particularly easy, hard or about average ?

4 Replies

...not sure if you are on Linkedin, but 'running lovers' and 'I enjoy running' are two groups I am in and they have the most amazing help and info to offer...and there was a recent post about hill running on my question about how to is the link:


Thanks - have requested membership.


I looked up this once before (when using mapmyrun) and basically they are using the standard French cycle hill grading system as explained here:

The strange thing is although the highest grade is given a definitive figure the others are all subjective as explained here:

When I was training for a hilly 10K earlier in the year I found it simplest to find a hill of a similar length and gradient as the race (in this instance 100m ascent in 2km) and tackle this once a week until I could run comfortably up it. l use this as my personal base line to compare other hills with.


Thanks Swanscot - nice link and it looks like my run was a grade 4 although it would be good if they were a little more definitive about the calculation. I think I'll avoid the HC category for now though...


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