Running up and down hills over and over again is the perfect way to train for, well, running up and down hills over and over again, otherwise known as trail running. Factoring in steep climbs is a great way to improve your road running as well, as it strengthens your glutes, and builds mental strength.
There are many hills in Hong Kong, many not far from the busy districts, for you to do hill repeats on as you build to your next challenge. You can run them, walk them or do a hill “repeat” session on them. parker
Old Peak Road
Old Peak Road is not for the faint hearted. It’s gradient is so steep that for many, it is not runnable, but power hiking up can be a useful addition to your training. A single ascent is tough, let alone repeats. It is very close to Central for office workers looking for a pre- or post-work run and you can add on The Peak loop for some flat running too. You’ll be rewarded with the iconic view of the city at the top. Old Peak Road starts after a hairpin corner on Tregunter Path.
The Morning Trail
Sitting at the other end of The Peak, the Morning Trail is Old Peak’s less steep brother, more runnable if you are building up your fitness. About a third of the way up, there is the option to turn right up a set of stairs and still end in the same place, if you want to include step training. There are markers every 100 metres. As a result, it is perfect for interval or fartlek training, alternating between running and walking every 100 metres. As with Old Peak Road, you can complete the loop at the top or head up Mount High West for more climbing. It begins at the west end of Conduit Road, so it is a great option for people working in Central or living in Mid-Levels, Sheung Wan or Sai Ying Pun. The climb starts at the intersection of Conduit Road and Hatton Road.
Mount Parker Road
As Quarry Bay continues to grow as an office hub, Mount Parker Road is a great place for workers to get miles in and head back to the office. It is longer than the Morning Trail or Old Peak Road, but not as steep. Once you have finished your repeats, there is the option to climb Mount Butler, up a relentless staircase, head on towards Tai Tam reservoir or run along Sir Cecil’s Ride back towards the centre of town. Come out of exit A at the Quarry Bay MTR, turn right and walk along King’s Road for five minutes until you reach a right turn for the start of the climb.
Tai Mo Shan
Hong Kong’s highest mountain is probably not the best place to train for those new to the sport. Its long, winding concrete road from Route Twisk to the summit is a gruelling hike, let alone run or, god forbid, do repeats on. For those looking to take their trail training to the next level, it's a proving ground of pain. Given its relative remoteness, you’ll be happy to know there is a kiosk at the bottom. The climb starts next to the Rotary Club Campsite.
Wan Chai Gap
Another steep climb, this one intersects Bowen Road, so you can incorporate it into your flat runs or just go up and down as many times as you like. It is not far from the MTR so once again it’s convenient for those working or living in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay or Happy Valley. It is called the Wan Chai Green Trail on Google Maps, so don’t get confused.
Lung Yan Road
This long road in Kowloon leads up to Beacon Hill. You can take the MTR to Shek Kip Mei or Kowloon Tong and taxi to the start line, through Tai Wo Ping and on to Lung Cheung Road, if you don’t live or work near by. The road snakes up Beacon Hill and is long so you can factor in times or distances to change speeds, whether walking or running.