Does Incline Walking Help Running

As a passionate runner, I have always been curious about the benefits of incline walking for improving my running performance. I’ve done some research and experimented with incline walking myself, and I’m excited to share what I’ve discovered. So, does incline walking help running? Let’s dive into the details.

The Benefits of Incline Walking

Incline walking offers a range of benefits that can positively impact your running performance. Walking on an incline engages different muscles compared to walking on a flat surface. It targets the glutes, hamstrings, and calves more intensely, which can contribute to improved strength and power in these areas. Additionally, incline walking can help increase your cardiovascular endurance and overall stamina, which are crucial for running longer distances.

Building Lower Body Strength

When you walk on an incline, you are working against gravity, which requires more effort from your lower body muscles. This can aid in strengthening the muscles that play a key role in running, such as the quadriceps and calves. As a runner, having well-developed lower body strength can lead to better propulsion and stability while running, ultimately enhancing your performance and reducing the risk of injuries.

Improving Hill Running Skills

One of the most obvious benefits of incline walking is its direct correlation to hill running. By regularly incorporating incline walking into your training regimen, you can gradually build the strength and endurance needed to tackle hills more efficiently during runs. I’ve personally found that incline walking has significantly boosted my confidence and ability to conquer challenging terrains, making hill runs feel less daunting and more manageable.

Caution and Considerations

While incline walking can be incredibly beneficial, it’s important to approach it with caution, especially if you are new to this type of training. Gradually increase the incline and duration of your walks to allow your muscles to adapt and minimize the risk of overexertion or strain. Additionally, be mindful of your posture and form to ensure that you are reaping the full benefits of incline walking without putting unnecessary stress on your joints.


After delving into the world of incline walking and its impact on running, I can confidently say that it does indeed help improve running performance. The unique way in which incline walking challenges and strengthens the lower body muscles, as well as its direct relevance to hill running, makes it a valuable addition to any runner’s training routine. Personally, I have experienced noticeable improvements in my strength, endurance, and hill running capabilities since incorporating incline walking into my training. If you’re looking to take your running to the next level, consider adding some incline walking sessions to your weekly workouts. Your body will thank you on your next run!