Is running downhill cheating???: I used to run... - Couch to 5K

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Is running downhill cheating???


I used to run around our local park which is flat all the way around. Running in a circle got a bit tedious so I started running on the roads where we live. We live in a really hilly part of Sheffield so there are some uphill bits and obviously some downhill bits. I feel as though the downhill runs are pointless and shouldn't count towards my time. Should I go back to the park and run round in a circle again????

9 Replies

I also live in an area where there is lots of uphill and downhill bits. I reckon that the uphill bits counteract the easier downhill bits so the overall effect is the same. Unfortunately I live at the top of a hill so whichever route I run the home stretch is always uphill !!!


No they’re not pointless, especially if balanced with uphills. There’s a skill to running downhill. Let gravity help but your pace should go up.

Goodness no - running downhill uses different muscles, some people find it harder on their legs. It's a good opportunity to get your breathing back under control after the struggle of getting up the hill to start with. More interesting than running round in circles too.

Walk slowly uphill, walk faster uphill, walk, fast slow or anything uphill. Makes no difference you are off the couch! If you can't go out of the house you can run on the stop, slow fast, a few knee bends. What does it matter and who's to say what you do! But enjoy it, if you don't think of a way you can. Football with the kids, tennis with the kids it says Couch to 5K but you don't get a ticket if you don't do it that way, the whole point is to keep or get active. Pilates with a CD? Fine with me.


Treat downhill with respect.

Do not overstride especially downhill.

Stand tall, short, light, quick steps.

Especially on uneven terrain.

Downhill can subject your undercarriage to the highest out of balance forces than all other impact activities.

Take care of you.💥🏃‍♀️💥


I’m finding that being off the track is more interesting as all my running in my youth was done on a track. I’m finding the downhill harder on my legs but easier on the rest of me. I always run a straight there and back or a circuit though, so overall elevation change is zero.

From past experience though I can say up and down hill is more demanding and so more of a workout.


Going downhill is only cheating if you are a cyclist. Running downhill is very hard on your legs.


Thanks all. From now on I shall embrace running downhill from now on. Bring on Saturday morning.


Just run...if I had hills to run down I would do it all the time... trouble is I have to go up them first... not cheating at all... this is your C25K.. you run it where you like:)

You are brilliant!!!

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