Hill Repeats

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How to run hill repeats

Although it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, hill running has many advantages. Hill repeats are a great technique for runners to increase their strength, speed, mental toughness, and hill running confidence. Although hills can vary in height and slope, the fundamental idea behind a hill repeat is typically the same. You quickly run up the slope before jogging or strolling down to recover.

Many runners worldwide despite hill repeats, but what if we convinced you that walking up hills repeatedly may make you a quicker and stronger runner? It may be daunting now, but with some help, we can have you on the road to evolving into a better runner.

Hill sprints may be tailored to meet any fitness level and, more crucially, increase your speed while lowering your risk of injury. Let’s discuss how it all functions and some exercises to get you started.

What is a hill repeat?

Runner jargon can sometimes be overpowering and perplexing, but the term “hill repeats” is straightforward! Hill repeats are just running up a difficult hill, walking, or jogging back down the hill, then repeating. Isn’t it simple? There is a lot more to it, as we share in this article.

Hill Repeat Workouts
Source: Depositphotos.com

How to run hill repeats?

Hill repeats mainly consist of jogging up a hill as quickly as possible, then running back down and continuing the exercise. Isn’t that quite simple? However, you have to do it the right way if you want to achieve better results. There are a few rules, though, that you should be aware of.


Never try to skip a warm-up, especially before a hill repeat exercise. Your body is not prepared to start the strenuous exercise of running up and down the hill. Allow your heart to pump blood as you warm up before getting things started.

Don’t select a hill that is too steep

Look for a hill with a 10-15% grade that is neither too easy nor too steep so that you can work on developing a nice rhythm.

Hill Repeats Running
Source: Depositphotos.com

Start your training

Your hill repeats should be performed with energy and effort. Your breathing will be challenging, and your legs should feel heavy as you reach the slope’s peak. This is typical and an excellent indicator of your commitment to the repetitions.

Slowly run or walk back down the hill

Allow yourself to recover your breath and regain some of your leg’s strength. Sometimes it’s the hardest to get through the first repeat! We don’t want anyone to be hurt when running up hills!

Remain the process

Put your all into it! Bring forth all of your strength and effort once more. 

Cool off after each mile

You’re free to inhale! You have finished the repetitions; you need to regain your strength. Now take pleasure in a leisurely mile-long run or moving slowly.

How many hill repeats should you do?

Beginner joggers must begin with 2-3 repetitions. We recommend you add one repeat every week within the next four weeks. Professional runners can begin with at least six repeats and gradually increase to ten repeats per week. Hill repeats should not be done more than once a week during hill training.

How steep should a hill be for hill repeats?

Technically, a 5-8 percent slope is optimal, but if you’re unsure or don’t have a perfect hill nearby, any hill will work nicely; don’t allow that to discourage you! Sprinting up steep hills is intended to require an effort that is actually at maximum capacity. They must therefore be very brief because of this. Your first session should only include one or two 8-second runs on an incline of roughly 6 to 8 percent, following an easy run.

Benefits of hill repeats

Hill sprints can enhance your performance, even if you’re a weightlifter or a long-distance runner. But if you’ve ever had to race up a hill, you already know how dreadful it can be. Hill repeats are a crucial part of any exercise program if you desire to conquer the beast and improve as an athlete. We believe these benefits of hill repeats should trigger you to start if you’ve been contemplating about it.

Lower injury rates

You can avoid such injuries by building up your running muscles. The athletic benefits of sprints are well known, yet flat-level sprints have a high risk of injury. With hill sprints, this risk is almost completely avoided.

Hill sprints challenge your body to the limit without letting you hit your top pace, which is usually where injuries happen. Therefore, hill sprints protect your muscles and can lessen the number of problems that runners frequently sustain.

Improve mental strength

Hill sprints call for a lot of self-control. You will need tremendous mental toughness to sprint up and down high hills without a coach. However, you only receive what you put in! Hill repeats boost confidence as a result. You’ve run up these hills quickly; going slowly up them won’t be difficult.

Increase your endurance

You prepare your body to withstand high demands by performing hill repeats. If you can run up hills, you can quickly run on flat land. Hill sprints allow you to quickly attain your maximum heart rate, which would take miles if you run at a moderate pace.

Hill repeats essentially educate you to work out at maximum performance with energy. It is tough to repeat this training. You get to recover and regain your breath faster.

Improves heart efficiency 

Intense training strengthens the heart. Hill repeats will condition your heart to push more blood with every stroke. This improves your stamina by increasing the amount of oxygen distributed to your brain and other organs. As you train, your heart rate falls, allowing you to push yourself harder for a longer period of time!

Boost your strikes power

When you do hill repeats, every step you take becomes more deliberate. As the power of your stride goes up, each step moves you farther. Each step also takes less energy. You become a better runner since your power and stride rate go up. With less effort, you can run quicker and further.

Hill repeats vs. hill sprints

Hill repeats or hill sprints are planned sequences of running as hard as possible uphill, accompanied by a recovery time that often consists of walking or jogging slowly back downhill. Sprints are an intensity level that is impossible to maintain for longer than 30 to 60 seconds. 

At first, you’ll perform three to four repetitions, and even at the top, no more than ten repetitions. Over 10 repetitions, especially if you are actually performing hill sprints, you won’t see a significant improvement, but you will increase your risk of injury. This isn’t like going for a run over undulating hills. Although you absolutely want to include that in your training schedule, think of today as a challenging workout day.

When is a hill sprint required?

You should perform this exercise after a short easy run. You might occasionally do it midway through your exercise. However, the objective is to finish the sprints with no more than a mile or two of easy running. 

Why? Your form mustn’t deteriorate as a result of exhaustion. Additionally, you might be unable to assess your remaining energy if you’ve never done them.

Hill repeats differ slightly from a hill sprint. A sprint is, as mentioned, your absolute best effort, which is difficult to sustain for any length of time.

Depending on the workout’s objective, repetitions can be performed at various intensities and lengths. It can include:

  • Four repetitions
  • 2 minutes of incline running 
  • Aim for an inclination of 6%
  • Jog down and rest for 3 minutes
  • You should probably aim for an elevation of 4-6 percent while using a treadmill

You can increase this workout’s rep range to 6–8. Try to maintain the same level of concentration during each repetition. You’ll notice that if you begin out too hard, your reps will go slower and slower as your energy is depleted from the first round.


Doing hill repeats will make you very athletic. Hill repeats end up making you stronger and more well-rounded in every way. They lower your risk of injury, improve your form, and give you more stamina. Even though hill sprints are great for you, you must be very disciplined to do them as part of your training. But that’s what makes athletes different from everyone else. What is holding you back? Get outside and start your hill repeat today!

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