Re: Anybody have any advice about how to run hills?

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Posted by trailrunnerK on August 22, 2009 at 20:00:54:

In Reply to: Anybody have any advice about how to run hills? posted by JennyJ on August 22, 2009 at 18:57:38:

We give the following hill running advice to our runners:

1. TRAIN ON HILLS. Get your body used to running up hills. Hills are not just tipped up flats; running uphill brings different muscle structures into play. As with any other physical activity, our hill running muscles have to be trained to respond.

2. SHORTEN YOUR STRIDE. Trying to run up a hill using your normal stride is inefficient and can lead to oxygen debt. Match your stride to the steepness of the hill.

3. MAINTAIN YOUR NORMAL BREATHING AND HEART RATE. In other words, don’t attack the hill. That can make the hill seem harder than it is and throw you out of your rhythm for the rest of the race. If you pay attention to your body, not the hill, running uphill should not be any harder than running on the flat. (There is one exception to this rule: if there is a sharp downhill after the peak of the uphill that will give you a chance to rest, you can run a little harder when you near the top of the uphill. We call this borrowing from the future. But don’t overdo it; you don’t want to put yourself into oxygen debt.)

3. MATCH YOUR PACE TO THE HILL. No matter how steep the hill is, there is a pace that should not tax your body any more than normal running. If the hill is VERY steep, walk it, or at least walk part of it. Fast walking up a very steep hill is more efficient than running up it and probably just as fast.

4. LEARN TO LOVE HILLS. Believe it or not, dreading hills can make it harder to run up them. Hill anxiety can make you run inefficiently, slowing you down and getting you out of breath. Try to have fun going uphill. Think of the hill as a short test of your conditioning. Take stock in how your body is responding, and trust that with specialized hill training it will get easier. Then you will find yourself leaving the others in the dust. Wouldn’t that be fun?

: This summer I ran in my first 5K race. I got killed on the hills. How do those people run up those hills so fast?

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