Fit 4 Physio guide to running uphill

gait analysis in sheffield

Since New Year’s Day it’s been hard to ignore the steady stream of runners making their way up Ecclesall road and turning right along Knowle Lane. If you’re taking part in this year’s Yorkshire Half Marathon chances are you are one of them training hard to compete in the Ringinglow Road ‘King or Queen of the Hill’ challenge.

When I first moved to Sheffield I employed regular hill avoidance strategies and rarely turned right out of my house if heading out for a run. A combination of realising this was fairly futile if I was to continue living in Yorkshire and also that including some hills in your training can actually make you a better runner, I began to slowly embrace the hills. Yes it’s rare you meet a runner who loves running up hills, not only is it hard but it can hurt, but the one thing they’ll all agree on is that it will leave you stronger. Read on for some top tips which will have you in a love hate relationship with those inclines in no time.

Be a hill seeker

  • As the hill gets steeper, shorten your stride length and try to maintain a fast cadence (160 bpm +)
  • Try to put in the same amount of effort as you do on flat terrain
  • DON’T lean forwards from the waist, this will put additional strain on hamstrings and reduce gluts activation. Run tall, leaning forwards from the ankle.
  • Try and keep light on your feet, imagining that you are pushing off through your toes rather than collapsing into the ground with each step
  • Use your upper body to drive your forward. Keep your elbows bent in to 90 ⁰ pushing directly back with each stride. Try not to let your elbows come forwards of your hips.
  • Don’t stop when you get to the top! Keep going once you reach the summit and overtake all those other runners who have stopped prematurely at the top of Ringinglow Road.

And like with all things running, try if at all possible to smile and try and convince your self you’re enjoying it!

Only 8 weeks to go now till the big day, hopefully training is on track and you are all in one piece.

If you’re struggling with a niggle, give Rich or Charlie a call on 07938 680320 or email