Train Like A VIP: Running Hills

The Virgin Money London marathon is weeks away – eeeek!

My next blog post is going to be about injury, which is sadly having a set back on my training, but I wanted to write one about hill sessions first as when I was able to do them I felt the benefit straight away.


According to my trainer, hill running increases your aerobic capacity (you’ll need to use less oxygen at longer distances) and improves your running economy (you use less oxygen to run faster) – and as it’s high intensity it’s a great calorie burner. It builds strength in your glutes, quads and calf muscles – so is fantastic for toning and sculpting your bottom half.

As  I live in South London, I decide to do mine in Greenwich Park. I did 30 secs uphill the ran down and did another 30 seconds uphill. I repeated this cycle 12 times.

My top tips are:



  • Don’t lean too far forwards and keep looking to the top and keep yourself upright. If you look down you’ll lean into the hill, which is less efficient.
  • Make your stride shorter and use a high knee drive.
  • Keep the elbows close to the body.
  • Push off the back foot – think antelope not elephant. And run on the balls of your feet.
  • Keep on running when you reach the top – only relax when your over the top.



  • Relax – unclench your fists, let your arms go loose, and just let it happen – don’t put on the brakes – but don’t sprint either.
  • Your stride length increases as you run downhill, but if you’re running down lots of hills, conserve the strength in your quadriceps by shortening your stride.

Downhill is equally hard as uphill, trust me! Relaxation is the key. If you overthink it, it will scare you and the more your brain is scared the less it can keep you upright!

How’s your training going? Fancy sponsoring me? My Virgin money donations page is in aid of The Stroke Association, visit that here.

Follow me on Twitter @livelikeavip



Zoe Griffin

Editor In Chief

Editor In Chief at Live Like A VIP. Author, Journalist & Copywriter. Often found with a glass of Champagne in hand!

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