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Benefits of Hill Running

Run faster and get stronger with hill training

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Updated May 08, 2013

Some runners don't like hill running because it's, well, hard. But running hills provides a lot of benefits to runners, so don't shy away from them. Here are some of the ways you can benefit from hill running:

You'll build strength.

Running Uphill
John Kelly
Running inclines, either on a hill outdoors or on a treadmill, is a form of resistance training that builds up the muscles in your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Hill running strengthens those areas more than running on flat ground. You'll also strengthen your hip flexors and Achilles tendons.

You'll get faster.

The muscles you'll use to run up hills are the same ones used for sprinting, so the strength you build will improve your speed.
More: How to Do Hill Repeats

You won't get bored.

Running downhill
Mike Harrington
If you're used to running on mostly flat courses, adding hills to your routines can help prevent boredom.

You'll reduce your risk of injuries.

As you strengthen your leg muscles through hill running, you considerably reduce the risk of suffering from running-related injuries.
More: How to Prevent Running Injuries

You'll build confidence.

Hill Running
Photo by David Madison
The more you run hills, the less intimidating they'll seem when you encounter them on a race course. Your improved strength and technique on the hills will definitely give you a confidence boost when you're racing.

You'll strengthen your upper body.

Uphill running forces you to drive your arms harder than you do when running on flat ground, so you'll improve your upper body strength.
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