A woman running over hilly terrain in the sunset

Heart Rate Hills

  • A varied-pace session where the landscape is in control
  • Ideal for including a mix of paces
  • A great session for the roads or trails

Heart Rate Hills is a really good variation on a steady run and a top way of learning to pace yourself in races.


You'll need a heart-rate monitor for this session.

The Session

Find yourself a nice hilly route. Ideally one that's not too familiar.

Pick a heart rate. Make sure it's one that you can maintain for the length of the session.

Your goal is simply to run around the route and maintain the same heart rate regardless of the gradient.

As an alternative to sticking to a specific heart rate, you may prefer to choose one of the lower heart rate zones and try to stay within the prescribed range.

While the intensity of the session will be consistent, the pace can vary quite wildly depending on how steep the uphills and downhills are.

Run for 20-45 minutes depending on ability and the intensity of the session.


Metronomic Hills

Another great workout that's similar in approach, but completely different in execution is metronomic hills where you maintain a consistent pace instead of heart rate.


No real need for a separate warm up/cool down for this session. Just take the first and last five minutes or so easy.

This is great fun on a course that you don't know well because of the surprise element.


Take care on steep downhills where you might end up having to run extremely fast to stay at a particular heart rate. It's better to be cautious and just allow the heart rate to drop a little rather than to take any unnecessary risks.

Also See

Find your personal heart rate zones and get customized session suggestions with out heart rate zones calculator.

Read our guides to training by heart rate and hill running.

Find out whether or not maximum heart rate formulas work.

Work out the level equivalent of a hilly run with our grade-adjusted pace calculator.