BLOG: Fitness coach Jamie Kennedy on how to beat the Pennine 10k hills

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I recently read a tweet a few months ago from ex-professional footballer Stan Collymore who claimed “If you want strong legs all you need to do is run up hills.”

This is wrong! However, resistance training is a great way to build the strength to tackle the toughest slopes.

Fitness coach Jamie Kennedy at FX Fitness Experience in Burnley.'Photo Ben Parsons

Fitness coach Jamie Kennedy at FX Fitness Experience in Burnley.'Photo Ben Parsons

Running up hill will be tough on the Pennine Lancashire 10k route as there are two main hills.

I think for many people the hills could be the hardest part of the race. The first one on the route comes early on at around the 1km point going up Ormerod Road hopefully with fresh legs this should not cause too many problems.

But the second hill comes just before the 5km mark and as one of my clients has appropriately named it “The Nemesis”.

At this point muscular strength and endurance in your legs will be tested. The best way for you to improve your leg strength and muscular endurance to combat the hills will be to include resistance training into your preparation.

Here is a quick workout to help you improve leg strength and muscular endurance for the run on June 2nd.

Try four sets of squats doing between 15 to 25 repetitions in each set. Alternatively you can build strength by doing four sets of lunges or step-ups with 15 repetitions on each leg.

I have created a video showing you the perfect technique for squats, lunges and step-ups.

You can integrate this strength training into your running regime 2-3 times a week in the run-up to the 10k.

Also making sure you keep practicing your running throughout and start to include some gradual hills in your running routes.

In the next blog we will be learning how to use interval training to improve your endurance and speed when running.

You can still sign up to run the Jane Tomlinson Pennine Lancashire 10k which takes place in Burnley on Sunday, June 2nd, by visiting