Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Hill Training

Today's run was a 10K hill workout that worked pretty well for me. I finished with a 8.17 minute/mile pace even though the route I chose had quite a few hills and inclines. Hill training is important for runners for a number of reasons: it helps build stamina, strengthens the legs/tendons/ligaments, helps reduce injury and improves form. I found the article Everything You Need To Know About Hill Training on the website and wanted to share what I learned.

Uphill Running
When you are doing your hill training, it's important to remember that you must run differently depending on whether you are going up or down a hill. The article specifically says that when going up a hill, you should do the following:
  • Shorten your stride and take smaller steps if necessary
  • Slow your pace, specifically if you are out of breath
  • Maintain an upright posture
  • Use an ankle-flicking push-off rather than a full, explosive motion
  • Run through the top of the hill without stopping
  • Gradually accelerate down the hill

Downhill Running
A big problem with running down hill is that runners tend to sprint or fight gravity both of which can cause injuries. To avoid injury and maintain control, the article says that when going down a hill, you should:
  • Do not sprint down the hill!
  • Picture gravity moving you down the hill
  • Maintain an upright posture
  • Keep your feet close to the ground and land as light as possible
  • Emphasize quicker turnover rather than longer strides as your pace increases
  • Lengthen your stride only when you feel you are in control
  • If you find you are out of control, shorten your stride

The article also discusses six hill training techniques that I plan to use going forward. I will leave it to you to read the article on this topic.



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