How do you guys feel about hills?

Morning all! I am just coming to the end of week 3 and I've discovered a really lovely route nearby - I can almost pretend I'm in the countryside, rather than London - however, there is a massive hill in the middle of it. So far, I have managed to time it so that I get to the foot of the mountain just as I stop running, then it takes me a full three minutes to walk/stumble up to the top, and then I start running again. I fear that as I run for longer periods, this hill will become impossible. But then again, I need to learn how to run up hills eventually, so maybe I should persevere even if it takes me a couple of extra weeks to get through week 4. I'd be interested to know how others have approached this. Thanks.

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17 Replies

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  • With caution! I still don't like hills, and you shouldn't underestimate the extra effort that it takes to go up them. At the same time, there's benefits to the occasional bit of uphill running in that it might well help speed and endurance on the flat.... at this point though you need to be very careful about including hills, partly because there's the potential for it to affect your confidence and partly because running them wrong can lead to injury.

    Others will add on some sage advice soon, but the basic thing is - don't do too much; don't be tempted to try and stride out - keep the cadence (ie steps per minute) at about the same level, but shorten the strides; lean slightly forward into the hill.

    I have occasionally done a Hill Session - ie doing intervals with uphill runs - but the advice, particularly for new runners, is not to make it even a weekly thing, and to start gradually. Maybe you need to modify the route a bit so that you don't spend too much time running uphill until you're a bit further on.....

  • If you want to then go ahead and try it. You only need go very slowly, it's really the best way. Small steps! Some folks have no choice but to tackle hills. They do make you stronger in all departments, and when you do get to run on the flat, you will find it so much easier.

    However, early on, they can be demoralising as they are so hard. Many peeps, me included gave them a wide berth til after Graduation, and then tackled them gradually.

    Good luck . Take care 🙂

  • Embrace those embankments. Master those mountains. Say "Grrrrrreat!" to them gradients.

    If it wasn't for hills we would be Belgian.

  • Ah Belgium... flat roads... chips and mayo, chocolate, beer. It really does have a lot going for it... I need to go and get some lunch!!

  • Tintin. Audrey Hepburn. Eddie Mercx.

  • Always try avoiding hills while doing c25k, they'll just make it harder for you, it's hard enough, yes. But it's not always possible to avoid them in certain areas, can you not devise a flatter route?

    As you graduate and get more proficient and fitter in running you need to do some hill work for stamina and more choice of routes, they'll benefit you immensely, so then learn to welcome hills..

    You can Google how to run hills, there's info there..

    Use shorter steps, pump arms back and forth, shoulder's back chest out, bend slightly forward at the hips not stomach, head up looking about 30 metres into the distance, try not to go onto your toes too much or calves may get very sore..now, how do I know that!😊

  • Thanks for the advice, folks. I hadn't considered looking up techniques for running up steep hills. So, that's really helpful. I'll do my final wk 3 run tonight and see if it feels any easier than Wednesday. I think I'll probably have a go on Monday and then if I can't make it all the way up, turn round and roll back down to the bottom. I'm lucky that there's a flattish park I can run in as a Plan B!

  • Plan B may be the way to go wigiwig😊

    I found a flatter route after week 2. You can concentrate on your rythmn and gain confidence in the running sections (they do get longer) without the extra effort or hills sapping you energy.

    Good luck...you are doing brilliantly 😊

  • Thanks Jan, I'll have a go but will turn round if it's a bit much. Really appreciate the encouragement 😀

  • Remember you don't have to keep running UP. If you have to run for 3 minutes say and you are struggling after a minute and a half just turn round and finish the run bit going down the hill. Its still running for the allotted time and eventually you WILL be able to run the whole section uphill. In professional terms this is called 'hill intervals' and they are good for you. Good luck, and remember hills are your friends for fitness.

  • Thanks Henpen - I think I'll do that. I'll be made up if I get to the top!

  • l have a hill which l have tackled 4 times during C25k;am now starting week 9.The first time was too much,as l did it too fast,2nd time l tried running slowly,then increased my pace,lwas exhausted.3rd time;l kept to an even pace but it was too slow my legs started to sieze up.The 4rth attempt,l tried a different approach. I stood at the bottom, and mulled over a way( this might take me longer,but l thought easier; l increased my pace slightly but, instead of going straight up it,l did a shallow zigzag to the top; it did not hurt me so much(no heavy ghasping and my legs did not give in.

    l decided after that,that l would leave tackling the hill after l've finished this course.Good luck with your runs just take it slow( though l' ve learnt my lesson,when l over did it onW8).Stevy.

  • Wow! I admire your persistence! I think I'll give it a go slowly and if it's too much, I'll run back down and leave it a couple of weeks. Thanks.

  • There are ways of tackling hills; l think l would say that you have persistence,we will be right behind you even if you run back down again. Good Luck!, when you do it.Stevy.

  • I avoid them at all costs!!!

  • I conquered the mountain! Woohoo! It was very slow but I jogged all the way up. Proper chuffed but now have no excuse to not do it again... doh!

  • Well done! Small steps and stop when you need to. If the hill is very steep then walk it 🙂 Some hills just have to be walked at some stage 😃

    Men are stronger and can deal with hills in a more gung-ho fashion 💪

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