Hill advice please

I have just signed up for the We Run Santiago 10km night race - the thing is its in the park that scares me. Scare is the wrong word - just looking at this park makes my thighs quake with fear. SO serious hill training starts tomorrow. My only plan is really is every thursday to run the route and try to get to the top non stop by the 1/12/14. Once i am at the top it will be slight inclines the rest of the way before the last 2km down hill.

So i know there are some hill experts here - so please can you provide me any handy tips please.

Many thanks in advanced.

16 Replies

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  • Hills at night are great as you cannot see them!!! I did my Race for Life last year around Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh and it is all up hill to start with and then back down - however difficult the up hill is the downhill was just the best fun ever - like free wheeling on a bicycle. You will be fine

  • I wish it was night time - so i won't see them coming but i have a feeling that it will still be light at 8.30pm. Is this more evening then night then? - sorry i feel i have mislead everyone. It will be summer so i guess its 8.30pm to save us from over heating -maybe? I have told myself its ok to walk as well, there is no shame in that and I want to be able to finish the race in one piece. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the RFL and the downhills are rewarding.

  • No think it is my fault, I was not thinking where you are and summer, I did my RfL in October so just know it was dark then.

    Just go slow and steady you really will be fine

  • My advice to you Sweetie is to be more careful going down than up! Up hill is just bl**dy hard work but there are things you can do, like keeping your cadence the same but taking smaller steps. Down hill, on the other hand, will wreck your knees if you're not careful. If anyone has any tips for running down hill, I'm all ears! Good luck Vix, you can do it!! :)

  • Downhill: definitely not an expert but was told by running DH it would help if I could even my pace out for the downhills. I found this put rather a lot of strain on knees and ankles and think you have to have quite strong 'braking' muscles to be able to maintain an even pace downhill - way beyond me at the moment cos I have been shirking the Jillian Michaels quads of steel sessions :D . Resorted to the freewheeling method and this suits me better.

    Don't forget to grin and yell 'Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!' on the way down. S'great.

  • i have read this to that you need good strong muscles - maybe need to look at adding some more exercises over the next month and a half to my routine. That Jillian lady is hard core - i mean boy does she makes you work!

  • Thank you for the encouragement as always :) The downward hill at the end is steep but luckily its very near the finish line but now i have images of runners rolling into each other to create a huge ball crossing the finish line :)

  • I think you have plenty of time to do some training so you should have it cracked by race day. I tackle hills slowly mainly cos I'm not very good at them. I do the stealth running on tippy toes. Running down hill I keep myself under control as it's easy to overdo it. I don't lean too far back as that can hurt your back. I stick my elbows out somewhat as it helps balance as you descend. You can let rip, with everything out of control, but I don't as I think I could hurt myself. It's easy to tumble headlong or slide on scree etc. I'm an old biddy though!

  • Good tip about the tip -toes, luckily i have new trainers as i have no tread left on the tips of mine. Yeah i think i will need to control the downhill don't want to go for a tumble and embarrass myself! Nothing like entering a race to focus the mind on achieving something.

  • The advice I was given for uphill was tuck your bottom in, don't lean into the hill (something I used to do), keep your elbows close in and use your arm swing to propel forwards. Agree with others, downhill can be tricky so I try to keep it regular pace and controlled. Good luck, keep us posted!

  • Thank you, for the tip. Swing those arms to propel forward, keep bottom in -run on tip toes right i am off to give it ago, going to run the run part of the course in reverse today. As the finishing line is close to home (10minutes walk away).

  • Another tip I got ties in a bit with Oldgirl, mentally split the hill into sections and tackle each bit at a time, the steeper/less steep bits, apparently it's what Bradley Wiggins does on the Tour De France.

  • I have a steep hill close to my home, its just over 1K all Up but the last bit even makes cars drop down to second gear, its called Jacobs Ladder. It took me nearly 2 summers to be able to run this hill incorporating it into a 6.5K route. For me I started going up to the second lamp post, then slowly back down, then the third lamp post then back down to the first and so on until I was knackered. I eventually managed the first part (less steep) which was about 750m. Winter came on and it was impossible to run as it was just too icy. So a long wait until spring and then try again, I soon got back to being able to do the first section again by building up distance using the lamp posts but any land mark could be used. The steepest bit of all was surprisingly the easiest. I did deep belly breathing to make sure my lungs had plenty of air in them, I ran on my tip toes taking smallish steps but the biggest help of all was pumping my arms. It takes a lot of effort but t does work. I also found it helped to focus in front of me and not look down at my feet which when going up hill I had a tendency to do but by focusing forward I was in a more upright position and it was easier to get air into my lungs. Having conquered Jacobs ladder I can say no hills were avoided like previously as I now had for me the right technique.

    Hope this helps, don't be afraid of the 'Ups' take then at a steady pace and you will get there. Don't ever think you have let yourself down either if you find you just cannot run to the top of a hill, far better to drop down to a brisk walk and save your energy to finish a race/route than to exhaust yourself and have to give up and not finish. Good luck I'm sure you will do it, just chip away gradually without too much pressure. :)

  • Thanks that sounds like a good plan and actually what i did. I thought right forget about the race on Sunday lets get this bad boy done. So i am working on the route in reverse - i did 2km warm up run then faced the bridge that takes you up to the park, having done this i felt surprising better than the last time and I managed to carry on, then i stopped 1km into the incline run and then ran another 400m - kept saying to myself get to that arrow, that sign, that tree, then I stopped caught my breathe and went down hill. I think i will do as you say and use all the sound advice above and just chip away at it. First i thought the uphill would be 2-3km but i think its going to be more like 4km continuous incline. Its a monster!! That won't even take me to the top, it takes you around the lower part of the park.

  • You are a very brave runner, I can't imagine ever being able to run 4K uphill but you know we are made of tough stuff, a while ago we could hardly run for 1 minute and now here you are planning a long strenuous mountain run. I wish you all the best for your training I'm sure you will reach your mountain top by 1/12/14. I think someone has already said the coming down can be very hard, if its steep it hard on your knees so some muscle building exercise to build up the big muscle above the knees will help support you on the downward journey. Good luck, do let us know how the training goes :)

  • ooo brave brave brave.

    No advice I'm afraid, just lots of good luck wishes.

    :) xx

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