Half Marathon Q: How Should I Attack Hills?

Expert answers to your most pressing training and racing concerns.

MORE.com Health Editors
running up a hill image
Photograph: Pete Saloutos

Q: Ugh. I hate hills. How can I run them stronger? 

A: The best way to become a better hill runner is to run more hills! The next time your feet are facing a serious incline, keep these running techniques and mental tricks in mind, says Mindy Solkin, founder, owner and head coach of The Running Center in New York City.

Posture: Stay perpendicular to the hill with a slight (10 degree) forward lean from the ankles (not the waist). Do not “sit” or lean backwards, which is called "sitting in the bucket." This may occur when you’re tired.

Arms: Bring your arms a little higher on the forward swing and back to the side of your body on the backswing.

Legs: Shorten your stride length by lifting your knees higher.

Feet: Keep your ankles flexed and land naturally. On steeper hills, try landing on the balls of the feet, as if you’re running up steps.

Mental Trick #1: Picture yourself already at the top of the hill.

Mental Trick #2: Pretend that you’re holding onto a ski tow rope that’s whisking you upward.

Mental Trick #3: Imagine that helium balloons are on the top of your head keeping you light on your feet.

NEXT: What If I Want To Quit?


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