Hill running can be challenging, and for many runners, it can be intimidating. Often, runners find themselves choosing flat routes, opting to avoid hills altogether to stay within their comfort zone and avoid pushing their limits.

While running on flat roads certainly has its benefits, incorporating hill workouts into your training can make a more significant impact on your performance as a runner than you might expect. Check out why our COROS Coaches suggest adding hill workouts into your normal routine and even download a new workout to help get you started.

Why Add Hills to Your Training?

You don't need to go searching for the steepest mountains or rolling hills to benefit from hill workouts. Even slight to moderate inclines can significantly improve your running performance.

Hill workouts focus on working different muscles than when you run on flat ground. They help strengthen your calves, thighs, and glutes, making running smoother and more efficient. This is important for maintaining pace over different distances. This type of workout will help increase speed and endurance, which are important for both shorter races like the 5k and longer ones like the half marathon or full marathon.

If you are just starting on your journey as a runner, returning from time off, or just working to maintain your fitness, incorporating hill workouts into your training will help to gradually boost your Base Fitness. However, it's important to avoid increasing the intensity of your workouts too quickly to lower the risk of overtraining. Consider your long-term running goals and incorporate workouts like hills accordingly. This will help ensure steady progress while minimizing the chances of injury or burnout.

Base Fitness metric found in your COROS Training Hub.

Hill Workout

COROS Coaches created this workout to help runners feel more comfortable on a hilly route or the trails. You can download this workout and others from our COROS Workout Library:

  • Hill Intervals: This is a time-based workout that can be completed outside or on a treadmill. For the downhill, walk or jog to the bottom to allow your HR to lower before the next interval.
If you are completing this on a treadmill, set the incline anywhere between 5-7. To help get more accurate data from your treadmill workouts, pair the COROS POD 2 with your watch.

Tips For Running Hills

Hill workouts can be changed to match different training goals. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Don't skip the warm-up: No matter what type of workout you are completing it's important to prepare your muscles with a proper dynamic warmup to avoid injury.
  • Start small: gradually increase the intensity as you build strength and endurance.
    • Duration: start with shorter intervals (30 seconds) and gradually increase the time
    • Incline: start with a moderate incline and gradually increase the steepness
  • Vary your workouts: Mix hill sprints, intervals, and tempo runs to target different aspects of your running.
  • Focus on form: Pay attention to your running form so that you train efficiently. Lean slightly forward, take smaller steps, and use your arms to help power to the top of the hill.

Taking smaller strides running uphill will help you to conserve energy.

More Questions?

If you have questions about this workout or training questions in general, email us at coach@coros.com, and we will be happy to share insights!