Running up and down hills is a great way to improve your running fitness. The best Hill workouts should always be a part of your training unless you have a specific injury that keeps you from doing it or you don't have any hills nearby. Both your body and mind get stronger when you train on hills. It strengthens your heart and lungs, gives you a workout using your body weight as resistance, and makes your mind stronger. Your technique will be set in stone, and you'll be able to keep up a better pace in the later stages of a race if you train on hills regularly and in steps.
Read through to check out the best hill workouts, which is a great way to get in shape. Everything you do becomes harder right away because, well, you're going uphill. Yes, you can run up a hill until you're too tired to go any further. But this doesn't help you get the most out of the training benefits you can get when you work out on a hill. Depending on your goals, you can make crazy-hard gains in speed or fitness by choosing your exercises and setting up your hill workout carefully. In this article, you will also learn about the best hill workouts, including treadmill hill workouts.
A List Of Best Hill Workouts Ideas
1. Continuous Hills
In longer races, like 10 km or a marathon, our bodies are often limited more by how long our muscles can last than by how to fit our hearts are. Continuous hills are great for building strength and endurance, so our muscles can keep going for longer. This is because they require us to run quickly up and down hills. When we run faster downhill, we load our quads in an asymmetrical way. This can be very helpful for longer events if done correctly.
- Find a hill that goes up at a steady rate. Run up the hill for 45 to 60 seconds at such a fast pace that you could only answer a question with three or four words.
- Turn around and run downhill for a 3–4-word answer.
- Repeat up and down until the time is up. You'll run up at a steady, controlled pace and down quickly.
- Start with 4 x 6 minutes of repeats and build up to 3 x 10 minutes or even 4 x 8 with a short 90-120 second break between each block.
2. Engine Building Hills
One of the best ways to get fit is to do long, hard workouts that last 2–4 minutes and get your heart rate up to 90–95% of its maximum. These sessions can help you increase your VO2 max, which is the most oxygen your body can use during exercise. Many runners will find it easier to reach these intensities on a hill than on a flat surface. Don't go too hard too soon on these hills. They are long and will hurt in the second half.
- After a good warm-up, run hard up a hill that gets steeper but isn't too steep.
- It might feel like a 5km effort, but because of the slope, it will be a little slower.
- Slowly jog back down the hill to get your breath back.
- Start with five sets of 2 minutes of hill repeats and work up to 5 sets of 4 minutes or 6–8 sets of 3 minutes over time.
Relatable Read: Anabolic Running Benefits
3. Hill Workout On A Treadmill
If you want to do the best hill workouts on a treadmill, use the incline. The high-intensity interval will push you hard, and the recovery interval will give you a chance to catch your breath. Some treadmills have interval programs, but the incline and speed may not change simultaneously. Also, they might limit how much the slope changes between intervals instead of letting you go to both ends. In this case, it may be best to do things by hand.
- Pick a time length between 30 seconds and 10 minutes. The harder it should be, the less time there is between them. If you use a one-minute break, you should be so tired by the end of the minute that you can only say short words.
- Between each time you work, you should take a break. These breaks should be easy enough to give you a chance to catch your breath. They can last anywhere from one to five minutes.
- Change from one interval to the next three to ten times, depending on how long your workout is.
- Cool down for five minutes in the end.
Check Out: Treadmill Vs The Outdoors
4. Uphill Effort
Most runners try to run too fast uphill, according to research. It's better to keep up a steady effort than to keep up a steady pace. This workout will help you find a pace you can keep up for a long time.
- Find a climb that takes at least 10 minutes.
- No matter how slow it feels, put in the same effort as you would on a flat run.
- Pay attention to how you are breathing. If it gets noticeably harder, it slows down. Or, use a heart rate monitor to control how hard you work.
5. Hill Sprints
Hill sprints are sprints, which means that you run as fast as you can. These best hill workouts only last 8 to 10 seconds, and unlike the other hill workouts, they are done after an easy run, not as a separate workout. Find the steepest hill you can and run up it 4–8 times as fast as you can for 8–10 seconds each time. You can do the first set slightly slower to help warm up. At least 90 seconds, preferably two minutes, of walking is used to cool down (not running). Hill sprints use a huge number of muscle fibers because of how hard they are and how steep the hill is.
Recommended Read: Sprint Workouts To Increase Metabolic Rate
Running up and down hills regularly will make you a stronger runner, increase your endurance, and help you get a faster cadence. When doing any hill workout, including running downhill, you should always warm up and cool down. Hill running is a great way to improve your running form but only do as many repeats as possible while keeping good form. When you run up hills, you can train hard without hurting yourself as much as when you sprint on flat ground.
If you're new to hill running, your workouts should get longer, have more reps, and happen more often each week. Pay attention to the incline because different and best hill workouts have different needs. In the end, the best way to get the most out of hill running is to do it often, but not so often that it tires you out. Follow a personalized running plan with hill workout ideas for the best results. Don't forget that you can perform a treadmill hill workout as well.
Also Read: Benefits Of Aerobic Exercises