6 Hill Running Workouts for Runners

Head for the hills with these 6 hill workouts for runners to gain strength, speed and confidence in your running!

Each month, five great running bloggers and I team up to bring you 6 workouts specifically designed for runners. This month’s theme is hill workouts, so today we have 6 hill running workouts for runners for you to try!

Head for the hills with these 6 hill workouts for runners to gain strength, speed and confidence in your running!

I talked about the benefits of hill running in last week’s post; in case you missed it, hill running will increase your endurance, improve your running form, and train your to run faster while also decreasing your risk of injury. Unless you’re currently recovering from an injury that is aggravated by uphill or downhill running, there’s no good reason to not include hills at least once per week in your training.

My workout is a hilly twist on a traditional tempo run. Tempo runs are workouts done at your lactate threshold, which falls between 10K and half marathon pace for most runners. These workouts improve your ability to sustain a hard pace over distance, which is why runners from the 5K to marathon all include tempo runs in their training plans. 

 Most runners (including myself) opt for flat terrain to perform tempo runs. However, if you are training for a hilly race or want to add variety to this training staple, hills add in the right amount of challenge to a tempo run. Hill repeats train you to run up a hill at a hard pace, but a hilly tempo run teaches you to sustain an even yet challenging effort over hills for a prolonged period of time – which is valuable if your next race features several rollers.

The focus for a hilly tempo running should be on sustaining equal effort. Your pace will vary as you climb and descend the hills, depending on the grade of the hills and your strength as a hill runner. Instead of obsessing over your instant pace, use perceived effort as a cue for this workout. The pace should feel comfortably hard and you should be breathing in a rhythm of two counts inhale, two counts exhale – harder than on an easy run, but not so labored that you can’t say a few words at a time.

6 Hill Running Workouts for Runners: Hilly Tempo Run

Carly from Fine Fit Day has you running increasingly longer intervals up a hill. 

Hill running FINE FIT DAY

Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama strengthens those muscles used for hill running in between repeats of running uphill and downhill. 

6 Hill Running Workouts for Runners: Brooklyn Active Mama Nellie Hill Workouts

Allie from Vita Train for Life  lets your route determine the duration of fast uphill repeat for a workout with endless variations.

6 Hill Running Workouts for Runners

Angela at Happy Fit Mama knows her stuff when it comes to hill workouts – she just ran the Mt. Washington Road Race straight uphill for 7.6 miles! 

Build strength, stamina and speed with this dynamic Hill Pyramid Workout for Runners. happyfitmama.com

Sarah at Run Far Girl‘s workout trains you not just to run hills, but to embrace the hill before you.

Head for the hills with these 6 hill workouts for runners to gain strength, speed and confidence in your running!



I don’t know about you, but now I’m craving a good, hard, hilly run!

[Tweet “6 Hill Workouts for Runners via @happyfitmama @BklynActiveMama @CarlyPizzani @vitatrain4life @runfargirl @thisrunrecipes #workoutsforrunners”]

Catch up on past months:
6 Injury Prevention Workouts for Runners
6 Upper Body Workouts for Runners
6 Two a Day Workouts for Runners
6 Indoor Workouts for Runners

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday!

What’s your workout today?
Do you prefer short and fast or long and steady when doing a hill workout?

Sign Up for My Newsletter for More Running Tips

* indicates required

Share this post

22 Responses

  1. My area is quite hilly so the first half mile is a slight incline which warms me up. Then there is a slight decline and then comes the 1.8 miles of steady uphill. As I read through these hill workouts, I’m wondering if I should go up and come down in that interval of 45-60 sec instead of going up all the way for 1.8 miles.
    But yes, hills suck but I tell myself this only gets me stronger!!! It’s my mantra to get me going up those hills.

    1. Both types of workouts have benefits – the steady uphill and the hill repeats! Hill repeats are best done only once per week. It’s good for the mind and body to have the variety 🙂 And yes, they only make you stronger! Happy running! 🙂

    1. I love the workouts this month! Running needs to get back to normally quickly so I can try them all. Hills are our friends – and your training for Mt. Washington has definitely been inspiring to hit the hills!

  2. I love this round up and I especially love all this hill work! Although I wish I could hike the hills with you and Charlie, I guess I can “just” do your workout instead 🙂

    1. I love all of these hill workouts also! I wish you could hike the hills with Charlie, Ryan, and I also, although sometimes it’s really us hiking and whoever has the leash pulling Charlie up with them 🙂

  3. Like I wrote for Allie’s post, I can’t even climb a set of stairs without worrying about shredding all my quad muscles haha! But as soon as I can heal up, then I will love running outside again (and hills).

  4. “Embrace the hill”!!! We can have a tendency to avoid them like the plague, but man they make “you” feel so good after completing!

    Thank you for the awesome workout links (you and all of your awesome blogger friends).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *