Does running hills make you a better runner?

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If you’ve been reading my posts recently you’ll understand that I regularly like to have a hill repeat session in my running program. It is one of my three key running sessions which I plan to do each week.

The reasons I regularly run hills are simple.

  1. Increased muscle strength
  2. Muscle elasticity
  3. Enjoyment

 

Increased muscle strength 

It is no secret, running hills regularly will increase strength in your leg muscles. If you consistently incorporate hill running into your running your leg strength will improve. This will have positive benefits to your running economy and power and allow you to run better as you fatigue.

Muscle Elasticity

Running uphill makes your calves contract quicker than running on flat ground, this in turn allows for more muscle fibres to grow and elasticity in your calves to increase. Increased muscle elasticity means greater power and efficiency when running.

Enjoyment

Running hills is challenging but enjoyable. Running hills adds variety to your running schedule and variety keeps running enjoyable.

Being a long distance runner currently training for a marathon distance race I find long hill training to be more beneficial. Long hill repeats would be classified as uphill efforts longer than 90 sec with a recovery downhill. These are done at an aerobic effort, designed to be challenging but not an all out effort.

These are a few simple reasons why running hills will make you a better runner. You will be stronger and develop power and running economy that will make running longer easier.

Have you done a hill work out lately?

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