Increase Cardio Capacity and Muscle Tone with Hill Runs

Maybe you’re looking for new ways to train for an upcoming race. Maybe you want to keep building up strength in the off-season, or maybe you’re just looking to improve your fitness through running. Whatever the reason, improving cardio capacity and muscle tone are probably on your mind. Two words that often frighten runners can actually become the keys to your success: hill runs.

If done correctly, incorporating different kinds of hill workouts positively impacts your muscles, boots strength, and increases endurance. A word of caution, though: when you begin hill runs, do not jump into them full-force. Instead, condition your body to get the most it can from the workout without incurring an injury at the same time.

Start small with long hill routines—incorporate a slow, half or full mile run up a gentle hill in your route just once every couple of weeks. As your strength increases, add distance until you’re running 2-3 miles of hill every other week or so. This should be at a comfortable pace.

After you build some endurance, add long and short hill repeats to weeks when you aren’t doing long hill runs. Long hill repeats involve running quickly up a longer slope for 30 seconds, then resting for several minutes before repeating the exercise a few more times. As your strength increases, add to the amount of time you spend running and resting. Short hill repeats are similar, but done on shorter, steeper hills and at a greater intensity for less time. So if you’re interested in adding hill runs to your regular routine, the nearby areas of Carson City, Genoa, and South Lake Tahoe have a number of excellent trails. 

Concerned about injuries, or already experiencing pain in your feet, ankles, or lower legs? Don’t ignore it and allow the problem to become a chronic condition. Instead, contact Sierra Foot & Ankle for an appointment or more information. Call (775) 783-8037 today, or use the website contact page.

Photo Credit: Mapichai via

Comments are closed.