I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve altered a route because of an approaching hill.  They are just one of those things we runners tend to avoid as much as possible.

But skipping a hill is a big mistake. 

Like it or not, hills make us better runners.

This week I’ve decided to do something a little different.  To help stress the benefits of running those dreaded inclines, I’ve put together an infographic highlighting just 5 of the many reasons to get your butt moving up the steep stuff.

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Author Doug Hay is the founder of Rock Creek Runner, host of the Trail Talk podcast, and fanatical about everything trail running -- beards, plaid shirts, bruised toenails, and all. He and his wife live and run in beautiful Black Mountain, NC.

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5 thoughts on “5 Benefits of Hill Workouts (infographic)

  1. I agree 100% I love hills. They are simply more interesting than a flat road or trail.

    But I have also found that a little bit of hill running makes me much faster on the flats.

    For the past few months I have run a mile and a half of hills each morning. (That’s all I do. No long runs. No track workouts. No treadmill. No cross training–i.e. no cycling, swimming or lifting. Just a mile and a half of hills each morning.)

    And this “Lazy Man’s Workout” has improved my 5K pace by 30 seconds per mile!

    1. That is great that it is working for you! When I don’t have time for a long workout, I always make sure to just focus on hills. Even if it is short, you can really get in a good workout.

  2. Any thoughts on stair climbing? Does it work similar muscle groups? I live in a pretty flat part of DC, but there are a lot of places to do stairs…

    1. Hi Alison, stair climbing is great for calorie burning and cardio work, but it doesn’t really work the muscles the same way hill running would. I’d recommend working your way up to NW DC, hit up RCP, or just find a decent hill near you and run repeats.

  3. Awesome post! I am in the process of finishing off some renovations in my house, and this was a really great read. Thanks for sharing!

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