Benefits of Hill Running

Run faster and get stronger with hill training

Some runners don't like hill running because it's, well, hard. But running hills provides a lot of benefits to runners, so don't shy away from them. Here are some of the ways you can benefit from hill running:

You'll build strength.

Runner running on road, low angle view
Johner Images/Getty Images

Running inclines, either on a hill outdoors or on a treadmill, is a form of resistance training that builds up the muscles in your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Hill running strengthens those areas more than running on flat ground. You'll also strengthen your hip flexors and Achilles tendons.

You'll get faster.

The muscles you'll use to run up hills are the same ones used for sprinting, so the strength you build will improve your speed.
More: How to Do Hill Repeats

You won't get bored.

Running downhill
Mike Harrington

Although some runners say that they don't like hills, I more frequently hear that runners get bored running on a completely flat course. If you're used to running on mostly flat routes, adding uphills and downhills to your routines can help prevent boredom. A hill workout is also a great way to mix up your treadmill routine.

You'll reduce your risk of injuries.

As you strengthen your leg muscles through hill running, you considerably reduce the risk of suffering from running-related injuries.
More: How to Prevent Running Injuries

You'll build confidence and mental strength.

Hill Running
David Madison

The more you run hills, the less intimidating they'll seem when you encounter them on a race course. Your improved strength and technique on the hills will definitely give you a confidence boost when you're racing. You'll feel a lot more mentally prepared for hills knowing that you've practiced them during training.

You'll strengthen your upper body.

Uphill running forces you to drive your arms harder than you do when running on flat ground, so you'll improve your upper body strength. If you don't have easy access to hills outside or on a treadmill, you can get similar benefits from a stair workout.

Also see:  'No Hill' Hill Workouts

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