Here are just a few reasons why you should most definitely add running, or walking hills to your exercise program:
1. Running hills strengthens and tones the glutes and hamstrings, and we can all use that!
2. You’ll work similar muscles to sprinting – strengthening these leg muscles means running faster on flat ground so you can kill that next 5k.
3. You’ll also burn major calories in comparison to running on flat ground, and you can’t go wrong there!
4. You’ll improve your endurance. Adding a weekly hill training session will do wonders for your regular runs, you’ll be amazed at how easy it feels to run flat routes after sprinting up a few inclines.
5. You’ll feel super hardcore sprinting up steep hills around your neighbourhood. I know I do anyways!
I try to add hill training into my routine once a week. Treadmills are a great option because you can control the incline and the length of the hills but outdoor hills are awesome too! I live right beside the perfect, not-too-easy, not-too-hard running hill, so check out your neighbourhood for a hill you can do repeats on.
If you’re just starting out with hills, try adding them in once a week to the end of your regular run. Start with 1 climb, the following week climb it twice, and so on. Then you can add a dedicated hill workout to your training plan and the possibilities are endless. Long, slow climbs, short sprints or if you really want to get after it…long sprints!
Here is the workout I did today. I’m actually pretty sore from yesterday so this was tough. This workout can easily be scaled down to a walk or jog. If you’re walking it, start at 4.0 mph, then take it down to 3.5 mph and finally to 3.0 mph. If you’re jogging start at 6.0 mph, then take it down to 5.5 mph and finally to 5.0 mph. Let me know how you do!
Here are my results today. I was one sweaty, sweaty mess after this one!!