How to tackle hills - Women's Running

How to tackle hills

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  August 20, 2014

Hill running

Pace yourself
Regardless of the size of the hill, take it steady at the bottom, find a rhythm for any variations in incline, and if you’re going to increase your pace at any stage, do it towards the top of the hill.

Set your sights high
Lift your head and look up the hill rather than looking down at the ground in front of your feet. You’ll find it easier to breathe in a more upright position, and you’ll have a better feel for your progress.

Spread the load
One of the risks with hill running is that it makes your calf muscles do too much work. This will happen if you try to conserve energy and keep effort to a minimum by using small movements of the arms and legs. Instead, focus on spreading the load throughout your body. Drive your elbows back, which helps generate a more pronounced knee lift. This, in turn, enables you to get more work out of your quads, hamstrings and glutes.

Focus
Visualise yourself powering up the hills and then use these thoughts during your training.

Don’t forget the downhill!
Running downhill requires a different technique: your strides should be shorter and you should reduce your arm movement to help you keep control, rather than driving your elbows back as you do going uphill.

Women's Running Magazine

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