There’s no denying that hill sessions are a love-hate thing; as soon as a runner mentions the words ‘hill training’ in a sentence you’ll either have somebody bounding around excited at the prospect, or someone who starts moaning about how awful hills are and does everything in their power to avoid them.

But here’s the thing, hill sessions are a little piece of magic for runners. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a trail runner, a road runner, a short or long-distance runner, you will end up reaping the benefits of a weekly or fortnightly hill session. I’ve experienced the evidence of this first hand; I had a few weeks off running at the beginning of this year due to surgery, but exactly 4 weeks after my operation I managed to achieve a 5K PB in a race after only running a handful of times the previous week (I went from 22.28 to 20.51), and…all of those sessions were hill sessions.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t always loved hills…in fact I still do my best to avoid them in road races if I can, but I have learnt to appreciate hills for the benefits they bring to my running.

Here are some tips to start enjoying hills in your own training:

So I hope the next time someone suggests a hill session to you, instead of letting out a little groan, you start to think about how exciting it will be to incorporate hills into your training and how much your running will improve over a short space of time.

written by

Victoria Stears

Head of Global Marketing - Sports/Education Sector from London

Age group: 34

10k olympic distance triathlon swim-run half marathon marathon ultra marathon