W2R1...hills! : Hi everyone, I'm new here, just... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Hi everyone,

I'm new here, just wondered if anyone had any advice re hills...sounds a bit silly but I just hate them and live at the bottom of a really long one where every way is up! I've considered going elsewhere to run but just don't think I'd keep it up so want to tackle the hills and it's ok doing it for the 90 seconds at the moment but I'm really scared for when I have to run for longer! Any advice would be great, they're really turning me off running! Thanks x

12 Replies

I didn't even dare try hills untill after Graduation. They are tough - but Doable.

Best advice that worked for me was to keep the same pace but take shorter steps. There are times when I feel like I am running in place or that I am peddling the world's smallest bicycle....But eventually I get to the top :)

It's a great workout and as much as I don't exactly like them they sure benefit your running. With all that effort though I would certainly say take it slow and steady and it might take you a few extra weeks to graduate - but when you then run on level ground you will slay it :)

Best wishes and glad you are running with us, your desire to continue is admirable and tells me you we will see that badge beside your name down the line (or at the top of the hill in your case! ☺ )


Ooosh! Tough terrain there then? Yeah, if you can't avoid them then definitely slow and steady is the way. I hate them still but I also know they are great training so if you have to incorporate them now out of necessity then it really will benefit you in the long run (no pun intended :-) )

Take it really easy, little steps and nice steady breathing and you should be equipped to tackle them but welcome and well done ... looking forward to cheering you on!


I agree, make your steps really small and use your arms to 'pump' you up the hill. I know it seems hard to learn on hills but you will find flatter runs or events in the future SO much easier for having trained on hills. Stay strong !


You could avoid them til post graduation as they are hard and can put you off. They are good at helping your running as they increase your puff. Doesn't seem like it at the time though ☺ Small steps 😊


You just learn to love them :) Seriously... like the weather :)

Embrace the hills, else they will not like you... !

Many of us are hill bound... and when I started, I wrote a post about roads that were flat, rising up as I ran towards them :) There is a lot of advice about running up the hills... ju-ju- gave me some tips, which I try to use...I will try to find the post...

Use the long hill for your warm up walk, and then when you do need to run, keep it steady, and short light steps, don't put your head down, keep your chest open and use your legs and arms to carry you up and forward..at this stage, it will be slow... ( that will improve a bit) :) Try to just get up there at this early point in your journey without exhausting yourself :) It is good to start as you mean to go on, but try not to worry too much about it.

It does get better, honestly, and hill workouts are a very useful aid for us later on ...It seems like you live somewhere you cannot avoid a hill, so as misswobble says, small steps :)

I have learned to love the hills... not so much that I seek them out, but they are a part of my running programme. the same will happen to you :)

Welcome and keep posting!


I blooming well love flat though :)


Yes definitely tough to start with so early in your C25K but Irish John is right with the correct technique in tackling them. Don't know if there is anywhere nearby that is flatter to do your runs but it will serve as a good warm up walking up them first. They will improve your fitness in short order though and you'll find running on the flat "easier"


Hills are good 😊 You should build up stamina for hills as the programme develops so that by the time you graduate, your legs and body will be used to them.

I agree that it isn't a good idea to run somewhere else. The best thing about running is deciding to run and just doing it! No need to drive somewhere or having to take your kit with you.

Just think, it could be worse: you could live on the top of a hill and then the hard bit would be at the end of your run!! 😜😂😂😂

Maddee_6333Graduate in reply to Redbillie21

Tell me about it! 😜


I live almost at the top of one, but really cannot avoid them without going somewhere else either.

Things that help:

When running remind yourself that you will be running rings around everyone else when you switch to the flat.

Warm up thoroughly and do some dynamic stretches; hills are hard on your calves and Achilles

Look at the ground not the top of the hill while you are running. Just with your eyes, not your whole head.

Take tiny steps. (I honestly thought people were crazy when I saw them still 'running' when I was walking just as fast BUT I get it now 🙂)

If you can't Not Look, look for something you can aim for (lamp post, gate, tree) and promise yourself you'll get that far - this is useful for later weeks.

Be careful running back down them. It may feel great to be going fast, but try and stay in control as, again, it can be very hard on your leg muscles

When running remind yourself that you will be running rings around everyone else when you switch to the flat! This one definitely bears repeating.


Shorter steps, pump arms back and forth, chest straight and open with only a slight lean forward at the hips not the stomach,looking about 30m ahead not at the ground..


I still think there is a gap in the market for someone to drive people like me to the top of hills and let us out to run down them.

I hate hills.

However, I was reading something written by one of the Brownlee brothers (the triathletes) and he says that he loves to START a run with a hill because it gets the heart pumping. If nothing else, that's something positive to tell ourselves as we set off - "Yes, this is hard but it's getting my body going", or something. You try it and if it works I might give it a go, haha. :)

Thanks for all your lovely and helpful responses! I'll let you know how I'm getting on!

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