Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Many reasons why Hill running makes you a better runner

#RunningHills can be challenging but they are good in the long run as they strengthen leg muscles and the cardio vascular system improving both speed and stamina.
Below are some of my learnings and a summary from an article in Runners World, summing up why hill running is great and what to focus on while running uphill and downhill.
Hill sessions, unlike gym strength training, gets the muscles in your hips, legs, ankles and feet to work while supporting your full body weight, just as they have to during normal running. In addition, on uphill sections your muscles contract more powerfully than usual because they are forced to overcome gravity to move you up the hill. The result is more power, which in turn leads to longer, faster running strides.
Those who run on hills have also been shown to be less likely to lose fitness when they take time off from training. And many scientists believe that hill training can improve the elasticity of muscles, tendons and ligaments, allowing these tissues to carry out more work with less effort and fatigue.

Going Up
It is the moment all runners dread. You turn the corner and right in front of you is a big, imposing hill. But don’t wince, focus. Shift gears both mentally and physically and prepare. Running hills well is all about rhythm; if you make the proper adjustments and maintain your cadence you’ll smile your way up. Here’s how:
As you start #runninguphill, shorten your stride and reduce the pace.
You are aiming for equal effort going up as well as down, not equal pace.
Your posture should be upright – don’t lean forward or back – your head, shoulders and back should form a straight line over the feet.
Keep your feet low to the ground.
If your breathing begins to quicken it means that you’re either going too fast, over-striding or bounding too far off the ground as you run.
Use a light, ankle-flicking push-off with each step, not an explosive motion, which will waste energy. If the hill is long or the gradient increases, keep shortening your stride to maintain a smooth and efficient breathing pattern. If the gradient decreases, extend your stride again. Try to maintain the same steady effort and breathing throughout.
Accelerate gradually into the downhill.

Coming Down
Sprinting down can cause muscle soreness later, or constantly braking fatigues the quadriceps muscles. Step lightly and don’t reach out with your feet. Slapping can be a sign of weak muscles in the shin area, in which case you need to strengthen them.

Follow these simple tips on your #downhillrun on Sept 25th in Shimla at the #RunningAndLiving 25K
Try to maintain an upright body posture, keeping your torso perpendicular to the horizontal.
Keep your feet close to the ground for maximum control, and land lightly.
As you increase your pace, emphasise quicker turnover rather than longer strides, though your strides can be slightly longer than normal.
The key to efficient downhill running is to stay in control. When you start, keep your stride slightly shortened and let your turnover increase. When you feel in control, gradually lengthen your stride.

We would love to see you soon and get faster and stronger in your runs as you train for, and enjoy some great views of

the mountains and history at Shimla, like no other, at the 8th #Shimla Running And Living 25k runs on Sep 25th.
To find out more and register today, click on
See you soon

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