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Running in the Hills

I am a beginner runner, I have been trying to run in my neighborhood. There are quite a few steep hills, actually there are more hills then flat areas to run. I am having quite a tough time running up the hills and not getting to winded and still making 3,4 or 5 minute runs before needing to walk.

What do you recommend I do? I do not have many choices other then my neighborhood and my treadmill to run on at this time.

Thank you for you help.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thank you for your running training question.

Hills are a blessing and a curse at the same time.

They are a curse, especially for you as a beginning runner. The risk of "overdoing it" and the risk of injury is quite a bit higher when you run lots of hills.

They are also a blessing because they make your legs oh so strong.

I would not immediately say to just jump on the treadmill and forget about running outside. Running outside is much too great for that and it would limit you quite a bit. But I do want to ask you to take care of your legs.

As soon as you feel pains you might want to take another day of rest.

When your running program is very tough, maybe repeat a certain week, or alter the program a bit so you get an extra walking break.
This should not make you feel bad, because, after all, the terrain you are running on is tougher than for others.

So, take it easy on yourself and give yourself time to get used to your new exercise routine and your challenging environment.

Best of luck.
Kind regards,

Comments for Running in the Hills

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Sep 13, 2008
Hill strategy
by: Brian

Outside of finding a flatter place to run, here is a great strategy for attacking hills in general.

(In comparison to your flat ground stride and pace)
Shorten your stride but keep your pace. That is, take shorter steps but try to keep your steps per minute the same.

You may find that your steps will have to be really short in order to keep your "flat ground" pace but you'll pull up the hill. Sometimes I've barely gotten one foot in all the way in front of the other shoe but I've kept the pace. I find this good for transitioning between flat and hill and I don't over do the beginning.


Oct 02, 2012
Running hills
by: Anonymous

When starting out pick a flat track until you can run a good 30 minutes. After you can run 30 minutes, then tackle the hills. When running uphill tilt slightly forward, but not enough to inhibit your breathing. Downhill tilt back. Strenth training on your legs will help your running especially on hills. (Alot of squats and lunges.)

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