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Q&A: If I Live in a Flat Area, What Can I Do to Prepare for Running on Hills?

If I live in a flat area, what can I do to prepare for running on hills?

Nothing can replicate running hills other than running on hills, but if you live in a flat area, you have a couple of options.

First, you can find a local park or area that is hilly and make a plan to run there. You can make a running date with a friend to make sure that you do your workout.

Another option is to run over a bridge. Anyone who has run the TCS New York City Marathon knows that the bridges are hills in disguise. A good workout would be to run back and forth over the bridge, repeating that loop a number of times depending on the length of the bridge.

Finally, there is the treadmill. You can run on your own and adjust the incline to make a hill workout. Many gyms and fitness studios also offer treadmill running classes, which adjust the incline and the speed throughout the course of the class.

Running hills will help to increase your cardiovascular fitness, as well as help to increase your leg strength and turnover. Making sure that you have a well-rounded strength routine will also making running hills easier.


Julie Khan

Julie Khan is a physical therapist with HSS Rehabilitation. She graduated from Columbia University with a masters and doctorate in physical therapy and has her Board Certification in Sports Physical Therapy. Her clinical interests include post-surgical sports-related injuries and running mechanics. An avid runner herself, Julie enjoys rehabilitating runners and helping them get back to their sports safely and even stronger than before. She is a USATF Level 1 Coach as well as a Road Runners Club of America certified coach. She has completed more than 20 half-marathons and eight marathons.

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