When you learn the benefits of hill running you’ll be running for the hills—fast!

By FitSugar
April 16, 2012

I know that I should embrace the incline while I'm running, but most of the time the thought of running hills and trudging along an angled treadmill fills me with unease. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize I should be loving the hills - and why you should, too. Here's why:

  1. You'll burn more calories. There's a pretty big difference between a totally flat treadmill and one with a five percent incline - almost 100 calories in difference. Running uphill can burn major calories, and anything helps, so the next time you're on a run, try upping the incline on your treadmill a little bit, or finding a not-quite-flat route.
  2. They help prevent shin splints. Running on flat or downhill ground can make you more susceptible to painful shin splints by putting pressure on your shinbones, but running uphill can alleviate that stress (just make sure you're careful when you're on your way down!)

More benefits of hill running [break]after the break.[/break]

  1. You'll increase your endurance. Spend a few weeks hill training and the next time you go on your regular route, you'll be amazed at how easy it's become. Start by gradually increasing the inclines on your run up every few weeks until even the steepest hills are no match for your swift feet.
  2. You'll increase your speed. Not only is running uphill great for your stamina, but it's also great for building leg muscles, which helps with your speed. Try this tip: run uphill at full intensity, 10 seconds at a time, to help build leg strength.
  3. Downhill does it, too. Downhill running engages your lower abs and works your quads. Keep the right form with these tips for running correctly downhill.

Ready to start? Read these tips on how to cross train and gradually tackle those hills during your runs. And make sure you run correctly to prevent injury by following these tips for proper uphill running form.

More on running hills from FitSugar:

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