Articles on: My training

At what pace should I do my hill runs?

Do you have short hills (15 to 25 seconds) or long hills (over 2 minutes) in your RunMotion Coach training plan?

In this blog post, you’ll find the answer to most of the questions you may have. 

Why don’t we indicate speed or heart rate for hills?


The speed depends primarily on the percentage of the gradient and its technical nature. An incline on a single-track route or on the road has an effect on speed. The gradient of the slope also plays a role. In addition, the GPS watch generally does not give a reliable speed on a 15-second incline, as the speed displayed by the GPS watch takes 5 to 10 seconds to stabilize at the start of a split. It is therefore not possible to give a reliable speed indication.

Heart rate

The heart rate takes time to stabilize, at least after 2 minutes of constant effort.

During a short 25-second uphill run, the heart rate rises to a crescendo, but it is impossible to give a reliable heart rate range. As you recover on the descent, your heart rate will drop again before starting the next section.

On a long climb, however, heart rate can be used more easily by looking at the heart rate after 2 minutes of exertion. We don’t have an equivalence at the moment, but you can aim for zone 4.


On hills, the most reliable indicator is how you feel! Here’s a tip to help you stay consistent: Return to the same starting point for each repetition, and if you arrive at the same place at the end of each repetition, stay consistent.

If you get further and further away, you have done the first few repetitions too quickly. Adjust your pace for the next session 🙂

For downhill sessions

As with the hills, it is difficult to give speed indications and the cardio does not always rise sharply. 

Again, feel is the most important thing as it's about riding relatively fast while maintaining control and not having sore thighs for 1 week.

If you run very fast, you risk failing (especially in a technical area) or getting very sore muscles for a week.

Updated on: 22/02/2024