Half-Marathon Tip #15: Reason Away Slope Shock

Whether it's your first race or your 50th, this expert advice will help get you across the finish line faster, happier and healthier. Check back weekly between now and race day (April 3, 2011!) for a new installment.

MORE.com Health Editors
woman running up a hill image
Photograph: Ben Blankenburg

Make Molehills Out Of Mountains
Do the sight of hills make your heart rate spike? You’re probably getting nervous over nothing: On average, people overestimate the steepness of hills by nearly 20 percent, according to a study published in Psychological Science. Researchers used to think that fatigue or perceived danger influenced estimates. However, in this study participants thought the inclines looked larger regardless of whether they were judging stairs or escalators, which take no effort to climb or descend. Researchers believe the angle of your gaze may bias your perspective. The next time you’re staring down a scary slope, remember: It’s not nearly as bad as it looks. For tips on how to become a better hill runner, click here.

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First Published March 8, 2011

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