Hills: Hi, I am new on here and need some advice... - Couch to 5K

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Hi, I am new on here and need some advice. It is very hilly where I live and I have mild asthma. I'm on week 3 and really struggled with the 3 mins run as I was going up hill. I am not very good with the breathing, and I know I panic when I see a hill which doesn't help! I did my run in another town yesterday that I was visiting and it was great. How can I get up the hills nr me!!

13 Replies

Slow down (that happens naturally!!!) and shorten your pace, keep head up, smile (not optional), use arms forward and back like pistons.

They are tough but build stamina. So if you can run them you will get stronger.

No magic shortcut, I am afraid.

FlossnCharlieGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Will give the smaller steps and arms a go as I think I am just carrying on running the same as I do on the flat.


I am also an asthmatic and I find its the panic that i wont be able to breathe thats worse than the actual breathing... my advice is to take it very slowly, take your inhaler with you and visualise. If mine is bad I listen to calm music, and visualise my lungs like tunnels filling with air and being very calm... it really works :)

misswobbleGraduate in reply to ju-ju-

Or you could drive to somewhere flat, or take a bus there. Hills are hard enough for any runner but can be off-putting for new runners

taking them slowly is the only way to get up them, taking small steps. As you run up the hill you repeat the mantra "small steps, small steps" as you climb the darned thing. You will feel epic 🙂

FlossnCharlieGraduate in reply to misswobble

I am use to walking up them with the dogs but as soon as run comes into it there is panic! Will try what you have all suggested. Thank you

FlossnCharlieGraduate in reply to ju-ju-

It is the panic, you are so right

Whichever route I run from my house has hills. I can't avoid them. I always try and focus towards the floor a few feet ahead so I can't see the full incline. Then before I know it I am at the top. Some of the inclines are so long that I cannot see the end and it is daunting.... and I don't have asthma! So finding another focus does help. You could even use lamp posts or cars as a focus. As others have said, smaller steps also helps as the strain on your muscles is slightly less.

FlossnCharlieGraduate in reply to MrsT82

It's over fields so I will try and look at the trees 🌲

Hi all this advice will help. I don't have the asthma but like Mrs T have always had the hills to deal with from day one. There were two things that helped me - the first being the advice that when you are running no-one should be able to see your head bob if they were on the other side of an imaginary hedge. I found that running uphill I was expending more energy by bobbing, I think in hindsight I was thumping too hard, and of course that uses up energy unneccesarily. The second was to chant 'go slow, go slower' - that gave me a focus too.

Finally and this was just my own weird one, from time to time I found I was going too fast and that by engaging a tiptoe run for a few paces, it naturally slowed me down. Not suggesting you do that, but if you have a 'method' of deceleration that you usually use when transitioning from running to walking, try adopting that to keep the pace slow...

Also mentally, running hills as part of this programme makes you a stronger runner - I knocked about 20% of my best time when I ran on a flat course... it made me feel like Usain Bolt! So although they can be daunting, they are adding to your runner's armoury...

FlossnCharlieGraduate in reply to Jancanrun

Yes, I found on my flat run I was so much faster too


Walking them is great practice! No need to panic about anything ! This is supposed to be fun 🙂


Slow... as IannodaTruffe says....but if you have hills... embrace them ... all you can do :)x



Or... as misswobble says... drive to a flatter route :)

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