Symbolically reflecting the beauty of women, hills have shapes, curves and a scenic femininity that often engulf a runner with dreams of all that is possible.

Spiritually, in the early am at sunrise, you can feel one with the sun. article, wikimedia photo article, wikimedia photo

Running hills also make for a very beneficial workout routine.

When we interview beautiful young wrestlers like Dylan Fox or Eden Cox what impresses us is that they have exceptional workout routines. article, photo article, photo

In our conversations with Fem Competitors, many of them run hills as part of their fitness routine.

As a female athlete, have you ever thought about incorporating running hills in your fitness program?

There are many beneficial reasons why you might want to include mentally and emotionally enjoying inspiring scenery.

The absorbing site shares, “When running uphill (as opposed to traditional running on level ground), there is a reduced impact on the lower leg bones (the tibia and fibula) and ankle and knee joints. This is because you produce less landing impact when running up a hill, so your muscles are better able to act as shock absorbers to protect your bones and joints. With that being said, there is a high level of impact when you run down the hill, which is why that section of the run should be performed at a lower intensity than when you move up the hill.

Even so, gentle downhill runs are a great way to enhance the shock-absorbing capabilities of the muscles in your legs as they progressively adapt to the stress placed upon them.”

Globally in agreement, the informative site enlightens, “Training on hills improves leg-muscle strength, quickens your stride, expands stride length, develops your cardiovascular system, enhances your running economy and can even protect your leg muscles against soreness. In short, hill running will make you a stronger, faster and healthier runner. What’s more, the benefits are relatively quick to take effect. In as little as six weeks of regular hill training you can expect a significant improvement in your muscle power and speed.”

If you are a female athlete and you would like to add variety to your fitness menu please listen to a guest writer and mother of four who brings her own personal insight to the benefits of running hills.

5 Reasons I Love Running Hills article - wikimedia photo article – wikimedia photo

By Stacie Mahoe

A few months back I came across the Uphill Fitness Training Program. When I first heard about it, I admit I was a bit skeptical. Is it really that effective? Can something that simple really help me get into the kind of shape I want to be in? However, now that I’ve tried it, I know it works. There are a number of things I like about it, but here the top 5 things I love about Hill Sprinting:

  1. No equipment necessary: One of the best things I love about running hills and making it a part of my workout routine is it doesn’t involve a lot of fancy, expensive equipment. All I need is a good pair of shoes and a hill and I’m good to go. No machine to buy, no power supply required, no equipment to lug around. I just put my shoes on and head on over to the hill of the day.
  2. Hill sprinting works your entire body: You’ll use all the major muscle groups of your body which is shown to burn more fat than traditional low intensity cardio work. Running hills makes your muscles strong and powerful. You know as well as I do that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. After my very first hill sprinting workout, I could tell that my entire body did, in fact, get a workout. I thought I’d “feel the burn” in my legs the most, but it surprised me when my arms were just as tired, if not a little more, than my legs. Not only that, with proper running technique, I also feel the muscles in my core working as well. Yup, those abs get a workout too!
  3. Hill sprinting is considered a high intensity workout. High intensity workouts have been shown to boost natural Human Growth Hormone production. When you are young, HGH is the key to building muscle tissue. As you get older, this hormone is a key factor in burning fat in your body. So as you can see, boosting this hormone helps us on our way to our fitness goals and high intensity exercise does just that.
  4. Quality, not quantity: I like the fact that low volume and high intensity beats high volume and low intensity. I don’t know about you, but I get bored running for 30 minutes on end (or longer) at the same pace. I LOVE the way high intensity hill sprints make me feel during the workout. It’s not just some boring, monotonous task. It doesn’t even take long, but I feel fast and strong when sprinting. I feel like I’m getting fit! Another great thing about it is that when all is said and done I know I’ve had a great workout! If “having time” or “fitting exercise into your schedule” has been a major problem with keeping with a workout routine, uphill fitness training is definitely something you have to try.
  5. It’s a family affair: One thing that makes a workout program easier to stick to is having someone to do it with. A hill sprinting program is the only program that my whole family has ever been able to do together. I do it, my husband does it, and my 10-yr-old daughter does it. My younger kids who aren’t quite old enough also come with us and can “play” on the hill while we run. Because we don’t need a big area, it’s easy to keep an eye on the younger ones and still do our workout.

Even though my husband, my daughter, and I are all at different levels physically, because we’re all using the same hill, we are all in constant contact with each other throughout the workout and have support from each other. This would not be the case if we were all running laps around the track. Eventually all of our different paces would put us quite a ways apart and we wouldn’t even be able to interact with each other during the workout. Riding a bike around the neighborhood is also fun, but then what about the little ones? They can’t really keep up and we can’t pack each of them. Hill sprinting has been a great way for our family to stay in shape and all be together during workouts. This is also the ONLY workout I’ve been able to convince other family members to do. Any time we visit my in-laws and do our workout (they have a great hill right next door), someone always joins in!

Now, as you can imagine, there are other benefits to hill sprinting, but these are just the major factors that make it great for me.

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PHOTO CREDIT –  summitpost-org photo credit

By Stacie Mahoe

Softball Enthusiast and Mother of 4

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.