Couch to 5K
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running up inclines

Went out for a run yesterday and ran just under a mile and half (1.39 or rounded up 1.4miles) Felt great but one of the roads I ran up was uphill and I felt my like lungs were fit to burst although I did not stop till I got to my front door. Should I do more hill work to improve my stamina?

One nice thing that occurred was as I was out other runners smiled and said hello as they passed me which made me feel good and a proper runner.

Since the olympics I feel it is easier for people like myself who are slightly bigger than the average to go out for a run without looking and feeling stupid. Hardly anyone takes any notice and other runners like the ones I saw yesterday acknowledge you.

7 Replies

Yes and it is also worth remembering that people get in their own zone and its not that they are ignoring people, just a bit preoccupied. Happy running!


While doing C25K I avoided 'ups' like the plague, I hated them, then I realised I had to start tackling them. So I mapped out a short route which had 3 x 'ups & downs' in the loop, my route had a warm up of about 1k and a nice cool down of 1k. I repeated this loop twice to start with then 3 times, it was amazing how quickly my stamina improved my strength also. Last year I decided to tackle a hill called Jacobs Ladder on the outskirts of the city where I live. This hill is a killer its in 3 stages and about 2k's in total. It beat me last year (just) but its my goal again for this year. So don't be put off by the 'ups' tackle them slowly, most of us will puff and pant but the feeling you get at the top is sheer joy and pride at what you have achieved. Don't worry if you don't get to the top without going into a walk the first time, it will still be there for you to have another go another day. I tackled JL in stages going from lamp post to lamp post, running 2 then walking 1 etc.

Good luck with your running and enjoy it. I agree with Norni very often runners are in their own zone and don't see others going by. But its nice when they do smile and give a nod. :)


Those Olympics have certainly had some good knock-on effects. Nice to be recognised as a true runner, I bet. One day it might just happen to me... getting closer with each run under my belt.

Well done on the incline... tough, but oh so satisfying!


Hills are bad. Hills are tough. Hills are meant to be run down, not up. That was my view. I'd do anything to avoid them.

Until one day the bleedin' obvious dawned on me - if we finish our runs at the same point as we started, for every bit of up hill there must be a down hill. So I started to tell myself that if I can plod to the top, I'll enjoy the reward. It does get easier with time - just read my blogs from earlier this week and

It is good when other runners give you a nod or a smile - it feels as though they're accepting you as one of them. No need for you to feel awkward any more - from here on, you can just enjoy your running!


Hills are said to be the BEST for improving stamina. Yes, they will leave you breathless, sweating like the proverbial pig even when it a few degrees below zero (well me anyway), with calf muscles screaming at you to stop, and maybe cursing under your breath. But they are fun - in a sort of masochist cor-aren't-I-tough-running-up-there sort of way. ;-)

OK, I admit I've been avoiding hills to a great extent since returning to running following injury, but I'm signed up to run two hilly 10K races. The first has 100m incline over 2.5 km and the second is steeper. Last week I thought I'd better start running uphills again, so did a local hill that is similar to the first 10K and I was really disappointed in my pace - a whole 1min 30 secs / km slower than on the level, but I'll keep plugging away at it and hopefully see some improvement in a few weeks.


I gradually started building inclines in post-grad (avoided them in c25k) but it's fairly flat where I live so not too many. After reading Swancot's hill training plans it got me thinking I should do something similar as part of my gnr training. So I started hill repeats, running up & recovery jog down, a moderate bank. The advice for beginners said 2/3 to start with, by the 3rd I was so fatigued I couldn't help but call out "Wee! Downhill!" to a dog walker - I figured having seen me running up & down she already thought I was mad anyway. Hills/inclines are supposed to be really good at building strength but I did read beginners should have a baseline of 8/9 weeks solid flat running before doing repeats/hillwork. Best of luck to you with them thar hills! :-)


I avoided hills until I'd graduated, and then decided to give them a go (as the parkrun has a very steep bit). I read up a bit about them and that helped a lot.

The most useful thing I read is that you should aim to have the same overall effort level as on the flat (which makes sense really - if you run flat out on the flat, you're not going to be able to keep the same level of effort and go as fast uphill). So - expect to go slower uphill, take smaller steps, but at a similar cadence (steps per minute), so your overall effort feels similar. It's worked well for me so far.

Very fit people probably can run up hills as fast as on the flat, but it's likely to be very hard, if not impossible, to sustain it, unless your flat running is at a relatively easy pace.

I quite like a bit of hill now. :)


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