Raise your hand if you dread running up hill? At about mile 23 of my 2011 marathon, I can still remember how I also burst into tears when I saw that slight incline.
I think we all struggle with the thought of reaching the top and the amount of energy it is going to take to get there.
When I’m in a race or out for a run and see a hill approaching, I first release a big sigh but then I force myself to move my arms faster and focus on my breathing. I know the sooner I get to the top, the sooner I get to relax and flow to the bottom.
Here are my tips to getting through those tough hill runs-
1. Lean Forward- Point your body in the direction you want it to move
2. Push with your Arms- Use your arms to drive forward and push you up
3. Focus on your Breathing- Stay mentally tough and focus on consistent breathing. Get into a pattern.
4. Take Longer Strides- Use your legs
5. Focus- Focus on getting to the top, not on the pain, not on the distance
I don’t think it ever gets easier to run up hill but it does become less stressful once you train your mind and body to power through.
For me, practice helps a lot. In my neighborhood I have several hills but I never thought about them until a friend commented on how many there were. I must have trained my mind and body to overlook them. But when it comes to race day, hills are always intimidating and required extra strength and focus.
There is nothing better than passing another racer on a hill! Don’t be the one who gets passed.
Get to the top so you can come down!