How to Run up Hills Without Losing Confidence

Few things spoil a good run like cornering and hitting a towering hill. You were having a good time! You flew and everything was fine, and the female robot in your running app whispered great numbers in your ear. Now that everything comes to an end. You must run.

The hills are as much a psychological challenge as they are a physical one. If you are afraid of hills, it is difficult for you to learn to run better. Maybe you can’t turn off gravity, but you can change your thinking.

Remember everyone is moving slowly up the hills

This is especially important in racing and anytime you are running with other people. No matter how much you slow down, remember that everyone else slows down too . Even people who hold their heads high and look like they breathe easily. These people know how to run hills (and soon you will too), but gravity applies to them just as it does to you. They fight to climb the hill. They are much slower now than they were in the apartment a few minutes ago. This is fine.

So don’t be discouraged that you slow down too when you hit the mountain. In the same way that speedsters are faster than you on the plains, some people will be faster than you on a hill. When people start walking by you, you cannot wish for more. All you can do is use the power that you have today, no matter how big or small it may be.

Keep your rhythm

We have already explained the hill running technique , but one part is critical: you cannot allow yourself to run more on a hill than on a level surface. Does it seem impossible? Remember, in the hills you are slower. You know this, so you allow yourself to be slow. Even annoyingly slow. (But now that you understand this, you will not be embarrassed.) You must move so slowly that the hill no longer seems difficult.

The easiest way to do this is to listen to the rhythm of your steps. When the road starts to climb, keep the same rhythm, but take fewer steps. It may seem like you are only moving an inch with each step. This is fine. You are still moving.

It only takes about ten seconds to determine if your steps are small enough. If you are out of breath, try again: step even less. You need to find a place where you don’t work harder than on level ground.

What if you walk so little that it will be faster to just walk? There are two answers to this. If you are in a race, do what is faster with the same effort. Very steep hills can be a walk. But if you are doing a training run where pace is not very important, train by running, even if you are slow. This will strengthen the muscles you want so you can run faster someday soon.

If you end up walking because you started to climb the hill too quickly, that’s okay. Walking does not mean giving up . Maintain the same level of effort as when jogging on a flat surface. Stay strong. Keep going up.

Don’t look up

Now that you’re at your perfect pace, don’t look up. Keep your head high, this is a good form of running, but ignore the top of the hill. There are two reasons for this.

First, the top of the hill is an illusion. If you pick a place that looks like the top and decide that your efforts will end when you get there, you will find that when you arrive, you are not at the top after all.

Secondly, this is not a sprint to the finish line. You have chosen a pace that feels easy, so you don’t have to wait for the stretch to finish. Once I tried to explain this to my son with the fables about the turtle and the hare. “You don’t have to run like a hare, because you’ll get tired,” I said. But before I could blurt out a few tips on how to act “slowly,” he explained it better than I did. “Okay, just not rabbit-like,” he said. “I’ll go fast like a turtle .”

You can starve like a turtle forever. It doesn’t matter how far the top of the hill is. It could be ten steps, it could be ten miles. You go and that’s all that matters. Don’t look up.

Imagine the hills are your superpower

When you tell yourself that you are good at owning hills, it becomes true. Skeptical? Go and run up a small hill this week. Use these methods and try to keep your ascent easy and fun. Now incorporate that happy easy descent into your mental reel of highlights . The next time you hit the monster hill, smile. You know the hills. You are good in the hills. Do you have this.

Even with this little preparation, you have a real advantage over hill lovers: confidence. They are afraid of the hill and stop, walk, feel defeated, feel defeated. You hit the same hill and slow down, but you are in your element. You are not afraid to move on. You respect the hill, but you conquer it.


Leave a Reply