Hill workouts are one of the best ways to train for stronger and faster running. In fact, a recent study undertaken at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand found that uphill and downhill training can enable competitive runners to improve their race times by as much as 2%. The reason why is that tackling fall hills is particularly effective when it comes to increasing leg strength. If you’re motivated to give it a try, find yourself a 3- to 5-degree slope—or of course you can work out on a treadmill.
Want the inside track to hill running? Runner’s World published an excellent list of tips for hill training several years ago that still rings true today. Here’s a few of their recommendations:
- As you start uphill, shorten your stride. Don’t try to maintain the pace you were running on the flat.
- You are aiming for equal effort going up as well as down, not equal pace. Trying to maintain the pace you were running on the flat will leave you exhausted later in the race or session.
- Your posture should be upright – don’t lean forward or back – your head, shoulders and back should form a straight line over the feet. Keep your feet low to the ground.
For more great hill training advice, head to Gym Source. Many of our friendly associates happen to be physical trainers, and all are well-versed in the benefits hill training—and the right solutions to meet your needs, should indoor training be part of your mix.