Mastering the Hill

By Albert Tan

For those who have taken part in the Live Great Run last year, you would have recalled running through many hilly terrains. As for those who are taking part for the first time, I would like to alert you that there will be hilly terrains throughout the run.

Many runners would fear the hills when they meet one, but there are those who don’t. It all comes down to the training and preparation that you have done prior to the race. So here are a few tips on how you can train and master the hills for your run.


Repeated Hill Sprints

There are trainings that can help you boost your running up the hill and one of the ways is to do repeated bouts of short hill sprints. Find a hilly place that is about 30 to 80 meters in length and perform the sprints. This strengthens your front and back thigh muscles and prepare you for the hills on the race day.


Multiple Hill Runs
If possible, find a place where there are undulating loops of uphill and downhill trails so you can perform multiple hill runs. This will train your muscle to adapt to multiple hills compared to a single hill climb. Hills with different slopes will be a good choice for training as that will allow your legs to adjust the muscles accordingly.

Indoor Hill Runs
You can perform a session of hill run indoor by using the treadmill. The good thing about running on the treadmill is that you can adjust the pace and gradient or elevation. You can perform a longer hill run by using the treadmill unlike the outdoor hills. Adjust the pace you are   comfortable with, which is below your 10km pace and increase the gradient to 10 or 15 degree. Run for two to three sets of 10 min hill run.

Include Hills during Long Run
Do include some hill run when you are doing your long run. This helps you to accustom to the stress that you would face on a road race. Many people do their hill run separately, but sometimes it is good to have both the hills and long run done in one training session. Once you get used to it, you will know how to use your energy wisely when you come to the hills.


Master the Hills during the Race

When you come across a hill during the race, it is important for you to know that you should not go all out and finish off your energy as you would for your hill training because your goal is to complete the race. Try shortening your stride length when you go up-hill and reduce your running pace. Keep your body upright and keep your feet low to the ground. During descend, do still keep your body upright and increase the turnover of your stride. Do not take long strides as this will hurt your knees and heels. More muscle damage will take place in your thigh muscles.


There you go, keep practicing and do not fear the hills. Use your arms to assist your hill stride, run or sprints by swinging your elbow slightly backward. Hill training will only make you stronger and improve your running speed on both flat roads and hills. 



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This health tips article ("this Article") is not professional advice and is intended to provide general information on health, fitness and nutrition for educational purposes only and you shall not, at any time, rely upon or construe this Article as a medical advice or instruction. Please be reminded to always seek advice from a qualified medical practitioner before making any changes to your current exercise regimen or diet.


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