Most people prefer to run on flat smooth ground when they run outdoor. They perceive that hills are much difficult to run. “It is too steep.” “It is too tough for my legs.” “It is too demanding for my stamina.” However, if you enjoy running uphill outdoor, you actually gain much benefits and fun. In fact, running hills is an acquired skill. With little practice and some tips, you will overcome the hill phobia. In this post, let’s explore this activity – running uphill and downhill.
Benefits of Hill Training Workout
- If you run on a treadmill, you may know that each 1 percent increase of elevation angle, you will expend 4 percent more energy. The similar effect takes place too when you run uphill. You burn more calories.
- Running the incline targets the upper leg muscles more. You also work hard on your butts and hamstrings too. In fact, the muscle groups you use to overcome hills are almost the same as those you need for sprinting. So, for sprinter, hill work improves the speed by building strength and power. Once you are back to flat ground, you will run like wind.
Before you run, if you have injury in your calf or achilles tendon, you may need to reconsider running hills. Go get a doctor’s advice in this matter.
Remember to stretch your legs too before you run.
- When you are new to running uphill, focus in your breathing rather than your pace. Try to keep your breathing effort the same as it is you are running on the flat ground.
- On small incline, you just have to run a bit harder comapred to the flat ground. Once you are on steeper incline, lift your knees and push off hard. Your “vertical” motion is as important as your run forward up the hill. The steeper the hill, the more you should lift your knee. This act will increase your stride length and speed.
- When you run downhill, do not pound it hard.
- Do not lean back. Lean toward when you run. Let gravity helps you. You feel that you are about to fall on your face. Leaning back will slow you down.
- Do not strike on your heels. Run on your toes.
- Instead of long stride, use short quick strides. You will run with less effort, less pounding and more speed.
- Jog lightly when you reach the bottom of the hill
- It is the braking motion that causes most injuries when people run downhill. So, be careful
Unless you are a professional, hill running should only be done once a week, especially for beginner. Once you get used to it, you can do it twice a week.
The more you run, the easier you will find it. You will find yourself adjusting to hills automatically without any thought or effort.
Category: Other Fitness/Sports Articles
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