Hills: Hi I'm about to start week 4 but am... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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I'm about to start week 4 but am really struggling as I live in a hilly area so don't always finish the allowed run time as I'm having trouble maintaining a run uphill. I keep trying to power through but not that well. Any suggestions? Thanks.

11 Replies

Just get over them:) Sorry.. that is a joke we all have to bear:)

Seriously, many of us have inclines or hills to a greater or lesser degree:)

You just have to persevere... or drive to flatter areas... take it gently and slow as you like...an even and sustainable pace, just like on the flat...if you are struggling then just ease up.

The hills do help our running ( I was told character building )) and they are useful, but in these early stages can be daunting:) Try not to lean forward too much..keep the running tall idea in your head... I take light steady but quickish steps... because that is right for me... you work out your happy pace.

Well done and keep posting :)

Slingy68 in reply to Oldfloss

Thank you. I do keep trying but they are daunting! Just back from week 4 run 1 and although I didn't manage all the hills I did more than last time 😅

OldflossAdministrator in reply to Slingy68

Stick at it.. I can promise you, you will get better at it. I smile now when I run up things that I slogged up in my early runs.. :)


You are doing just fine... and like the British weather, we have to embrace those pesky hills:)

I think that I would repeat the runs until they're completed. Go slowly and enjoy the fact that every effort is improving your heart, lungs and legs and building stamina. Speed isn't important yet - it might never be. Just keep going. 😊

Slingy68 in reply to msanni

Will give that a go. Will stick on week 4 run 1 for a while to see how it goes.


yes I live on top of a very high hill on a farm in Northumberland so I feel your pain. It is inevitable that when I run down I have to run back up. Im just adding it to my determination bank and I have decided what msanni said, I will keep repeating the runs until I crack it

I'm in a hilly area too (and won't drive to a flatter one). I run my uphills slowly and with small steps.

The best thing I learned when I started was to back stitch my hills. This actually means you run further on the hill but gives you some recovery time at the same time.

From the bottom of a hill run (small slow steps remember😀) to the first lamp post or a marker, now run back down to your start. Then you run to the second lamp post, or marker, turn round and run down to the first one, then up two and down one (which will be the second post/marker) and so on until you get to the top. This is how I learnt to get to the top of my particular nemesis although it does still beat me sometimes.


If you have run as far up a hill as you possibly can, just turn round and run back down. It may muck up your route planning, but at least you keep moving.

If you don't learn to run up hills, you will never be able to run up hills. They make you a better runner.

Thanks all. So helpful. Next run I'm going to power through and try to get on without stopping!

Forgot to say I can now run "Nemesis"😀 In one go, except on the occasional days it bites back!


If you can't find a flatter route you're actually lucky. You will become stronger with hill practice.

I found a few things that help;

Lean into the hill but not too much, just enough to gain a tiny bit of extra momentum

Drop your gaze, forget the top, the 6 foot in front is all you need to worry about

As it burns, shorten your step. If it's really steep I can find myself taking steps so short they are only getting half a footstep further ahead but it really helps

Keep your focus on your breathing, not the hill.

You really will be a stronger runner for it 👍💪😁

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