5 Tips to Faster Hill Running

 In Running

5 Tips to Faster Hill Running

Almost every runner who receives some running technique instruction wants to know how to run hills. The following 5 tips will when applied turn you into a runner who enjoys running hills, and  a runner who runs them both looking good and with efficiency and speed:

1.Relax when going up the hill, being sure to expend only marginally more energy than what you spend when running on the flat.

2. On the way down, fight the tendency to ‘lean back’ and away from the hill and instead ‘lean into it’ – let yourself go. You won’t face plant – I promise! This is gravity assisting you to get down the hill faster.

On the downhill fight the tendency to ‘lean back’ and away from the hill, lean into it! #running #physio @Brad_Beer Click To Tweet

3. Aim to keep your cadence quick and consistent at close to 90 single steps/min, just as you would when running the flat. As you run uphill, you will need to shorten your stride length, and when running downhill you will obviously take longer strides. However do not allow your strides to lengthen to the point where your cadence starts to drop. Instead keep your cadence at 90steps/min. Changing your stride length is analogous to ‘changing gears’ when climbing a hill on a bike. For more information in the importance of cadence and step length when running click HERE.

4. Look up to where you are going (that is, the top of the hill) and not at your feet.

5. When going downhill, hold a wider arm angle than normal in order to assist with balance of the body.

A closing thought on running hills with great technique: don’t forget that you can ‘teach an old dog new tricks’. Irrespective of whether you have run hills for many years a given way it holds true that when running technique is taught, changes result. Even the runner with years of an ingrained running style can make positive technique changes.

When running technique is taught changes result @Brad_Beer #runchat #running #technique #runpainfree Click To Tweet

Now go and tackle those hills!

If you have any feedback or questions please leave them in the comments below.

In Running,

Brad Beer (APAM)

Physiotherapist, Author Amazon Running & Jogging Bestseller ‘You CAN Run Pain Free!‘, POGO Physio Founder &  avid runner




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Showing 2 comments
  • Carl Wright

    Thank you for this article. I have a tendency to lean back going down hills for fear of “face planting”. Must learn to let go.

    • Brad Beer

      Hi Carl,

      Thank you for your reply. Yes learning to ‘let go’ can feel ‘scary’ however your running will benefit enormously from it.

      Let me know how you go!

      Brad Beer

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