Hill Running for Beginners: 4 Best Hill Workout to be a Better Runner

hill running for beginners
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You have been running for some time now…

Then you stumble upon a hill, you ran up the hill a few times.

It was dreadful and painful… So whenever you see a hill during your run, you try to avoid it.

You begin to think of various ways to be a better runner…

Hill running is great to further improve your cardio, fitness and leg muscles strength but it can be a pain in the ass for beginners, especially if you are unsure of how to do it.

Remember to warm up before every workout to prevent any pain and injuries.

You should not be training hill if you are a complete beginner, make sure you have at least 2-3 months of base-building running!

Here are 5 best hill workout for beginners to be a better runner:

1. Long Slow Uphill Runs

Ever seen a hill so long uphill that you prefer to just fly up and roll down instead?

But you are not a ball… So that wouldn’t happen.

Long uphill is usually a long and extended hill of more than 200m with steady incline of 2-3%.

If the incline is too steep, it would be too challenging to complete it.

hill running for beginners

Keep your running pace as comfortable as you can, don’t start too quick.

Make sure you can reach the top of the hill, feeling tired but not exhausted.

Long Slow Uphill Runs Sample Workout Routine:

  • Run 2-3 mins uphill, walk 1 min and repeat 10 times.
  • 30-40 mins continuous running that involves a long uphill climb.

If there’s no hill in your neighborhood, you can run on a treadmill with an incline, 4-5% incline on your treadmill would suffice.

Remember to run slow and steady, don’t push the pace. Try your best to be comfortable throughout the run.

2. Medium Uphill Runs

You may not have a hill long enough to do long slow uphill runs and/or steep enough for short uphill sprints.

Therefore, it doesn’t mean you can’t do hill runs; 100m uphill is great enough.

For this workout, strive to run quicker than your comfortable pace – keep it bearable, not too quick.

Medium Uphill Runs Sample Workout Routine:

  • Run up a 80-100m hill with slightly quicker pace, jog down as rest, repeat 10-12 times.
  • Sprint up a 80-100m hill, walk down as rest, repeat 3-5 times.

If you need longer rest, you can rest longer, but make sure you don’t rest too long!

I recommend you to focus on doing this hill workout routine, if you want to improve overall fitness and cardio.

In addition, this hill workout is sort-of an all-rounder routine that can even further improve your speed and muscle strength.

3. Short Uphill Sprints

To get your booty working, you gotta do some short uphill sprints for the extra burn.

Don’t get me wrong, the burn is not good, it’s suffering…

Ok, jokes aside.

hill running for beginners

Once you get fitter and stronger, you won’t feel the burn anymore.

However, don’t push yourself too hard, sprint within your limits and enjoy.

The incline of the hill should be between 6-8% and about 30-50m in length.

Do this workout once a week only.

Short Uphill Sprints Sample Workout Routine:

  • Sprint up a 30-50m hill and walk down as your rest (rest more if needed). Repeat 6-8 times.
  • Sprint up a 15m hill and walk down as your rest (rest more if needed). Repeat 10-12 times.

You can “break up” the workout into sets too if it’s too challenging and you can’t complete it.

For example, instead of doing 10 times, you do 5 times, 2 sets with 3-4 mins rest in between sets.

Breaking up the run into sets allows more rest while still running the same volume.

Most importantly is the quality of the sprints and not quantity – stop, rest and go home if you can’t sprint anymore.

4. Stairs Running!

Ahhhhh stairs running isn’t hill running, but yeah.. It is still “running against gravity”.

If you don’t have an access to a hill nearby your neighbourhood, you can opt for stairs running.

On top of that, stairs running is also a great way to burn tons of calories to lose weight.

You can even do stairs running in your home – that is if you have a staircase in your home.

Stairs Running Sample Workout Routine:

  • Run up the flight of stairs and walk back down, repeat 20-30 times.
  • Run up two-steps at a time and walk back down, repeat 15 times.
  • Do a similar workout as any of the above and add +5 squats when you reached the top of the staircase.

Stairs running workout routine can be a little tricky, since the amount of stairs and the height of stairs varies.

You can alter this workout as you see fit – do less reps if your stairs is a long one, and more reps if it’s a short one.

Extra Beginner Hill Running Tips

These hill workout routine can be quite challenging and taxing, therefore, make sure you don’t overdo it and keep it within your limit.

You should feel tired with every repeats, but not to the point of exhaustion.

You can alter the workout routine to your fitness level and however you see fit as well.

Make sure to always warm up and cooldown before and after every running session, respectively.

Don’t do all the workout routine in one week, choose 1-2 for each week at best.

Sufficiently hydrate yourself before, during and after the hill workouts.

If you want to take your fitness and running performance to the next level, you should start doing Fartlek runs and/or tempo runs.

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