Bit between my teeth ..... hill advice please ... - Couch to 5K

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Bit between my teeth ..... hill advice please anyone? 😀


Morning! I woke up looking forward to my run today and wondering how best to proceed with my new ‘hill training’ regime.

I was encouraged to complete my first parkrun on Saturday without walking, despite being faced with an unexpected short, but steep, incline, immediately followed by a long uphill section. We’re not talking Everest here, but nonetheless .... my inner snail was well and truly embraced! 🐌🐌🐌 As I’ll be returning and obviously want to improve my time slowly, I thought I’d ask you sage souls for hill advice!

Do I tackle steeper hills more regularly, or run less steep ones faster? There’s a steep one I could incorporate into my regular route which I always drive past and wonder why on earth anyone would ever choose to run it - and loads do - should this be my new best friend? 😳🏃‍♀️🐌

Any advice welcome! And thank you! ❤️

13 Replies

I can’t get away with hills albeit it’s only two, one steepish & the other a steady incline. I find the steady incline, personally, easier to tackle. Congrats on your Parkrun. Happy running

cheekychipmunksGraduate in reply to Oldlady57

Thank you, the parkrun was fabulous! 😀

I agree about the steady incline being easier. It’s why I wondered if I should bite the bullet and incorporate the steep hill into my regular runs - no pain, no gain! 😅

Please, no pain 🤣. I do both. Give it a go & see how you feel? Great for building stamina (who am l kidding). I still have to remind myself to slow down. Can now run a mile in 11 1/2 mins & kilometre in 7.20 mins. So l guess hill running has improved my time


Depends on the hill and the surrounding route. If it's a generally flat route with a small not so steep hill (30-40 metres) I either accelerate slightly or stay at the same pace. If it's longer or steeper, I slow down and ride my tiny bike! As a rule, the shorter and steeper the faster I go, but a nice mid gradient incline that's fairly long means I slow and enjoy destroying my calves for the rest of the run. Good luck on becoming a hill master!

cheekychipmunksGraduate in reply to Jundal

Good advice there Jundal, thanks.

My normal route incorporates a hill I could accelerate up - I haven’t yet, but I certainly could. That’ll be today’s run I think. 😀

The steep hill would be taken at super snail pace (or less). I might try it later this week to see how it feels. I know what you mean about the tiny bicycle analogy!

Thanks! 😀😀


Hills are very hard work and accelerating up them is easier said than done. For now I’d be aiming for small steps to get you up them and dividing the hill into chunks, having a breather at various stages 🙂

Long, uphill slopes are good practice but you can leave them til after graduation

cheekychipmunksGraduate in reply to misswobble

Thanks misswobble - I graduated nearly 4 weeks ago and am now running 5ks slowly but surely. I was just taken aback with how slow I was running up the steep hill in my parkrun this weekend. I didn’t walk, but it certainly affected my time. I’d just like to start getting better at hills, that’s all! 🏃‍♀️😀


Hills are great for trimming your waist 😃. Just take care on them and take your time as they’re very hard. If you have a long sloping one practice on it and then you can note your improvement. I have one which is really tough but I’ve cracked it now. It gets easier as you get fitter. However I still can’t power uphill. Men can easier than women I have noticed. I am much fitter than I was but I still do hills slowly with small steps. If a hill is very steep,you are better off walking it 😃

cheekychipmunksGraduate in reply to misswobble

Interesting about men vs women. Ok, so I think I’ll work on improving my pace up my friendly hill, then branch out with the killer steep one some other time.

I’m loving running so much, but I really don’t want to get injured.

Thanks again. 😀😀


Build a hill-session into your weekly routine. For one of your weekly runs, find a gentle-ish hill. No need to tackle Everest to start with ;-) After warming up on the flat, run up the hill, aiming for about 100 meters length (Not elevation!!!) aiming for the fastest pace that you can comfortably maintain for the duration of the 100 meters. Work hard to keep your pace constant (if you find that you run out of puff near the end, then you started too quick). Once you've got to your 100 meter marker, turn around a jog slowly back to the start. Repeat 8 times.

Once you're proficient at that, then extend the distance from 100 meters to 150, or 200. And after that, find a steeper gradient.

Note that hill exercises are not meant to be an obstacle in a 5km (or longer) run. They are a run all in themselves. If it feels like really hard work, then you are doing them correctly.

cheekychipmunksGraduate in reply to MarkyD

Thank you so much MarkyD, that’s really helpful! 😀

I do have a hill I could use for that purpose, so I’ll definitely give it a try. I did it twice in my 4k run just now, and I can already see an improvement from when I started that route a few weeks ago. But yes, I’ll endeavour to gradually up the pace and leave the killer Everest hill for now. (People walk bicycles up it ... 😳)

As for the parkrun hill, it did feel like hard work, but I looked at my stats and they were respectable compared to my regular runs. Just a bit slower on the steep section, which is to be expected, so I was pretty pleased! 🏃‍♀️😀

Thanks so much for your helpful advice! 👍🏻👍🏻


I find pumping my arms helps me up a hill. I’d like to say that I enjoy hills but not yet, maybe one day, I do enjoy the feeling of getting to the top though and the flat and view afterwards!! Well done in doing a Parkrun which is a challenge I’ve yet to tackle. 😊👍🏻

cheekychipmunksGraduate in reply to Jelon

Thanks Jelon, yes I agree about the arms idea. 👍🏻 I’m hoping I’ll like hills eventually. I’m finding my regular one easier, so maybe I’ll like them all one day!

Happy running! 😀

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