Training for hills – Women’s Running

Training for hills – how to run gradients

Training for hills: How to run uphill

To run well up a hill you need to stay tall and strong in the core. Remain confident and don’t let the hill intimidate you as this will only make your form collapse – shoulders hunched and head down. And this will make you a much less efficient runner.

Hill running technique: 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.

Hill running technique: Stay tall

To run more efficiently up a hill, you want to make yourself as tall as possible and avoid running in a hunched over position. Imagine you’re pushing your hip bones forward into the hill. This will help you stay tall and give you a slight forward lean which will help you make the most of each stride.

Using your arms to run uphill

Your arms can help power you up the hill if you let them. Focus on driving your arm back, with your elbow fixed at around 90 degrees. This will ensure the arm drive is coming from the shoulder joint. By concentrating on your arm, you’ll be encouraging the opposite knee to drive up the hill.

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.

Training for hills: How to run downhill

Training to run down hills well is something we often overlook. But being able to make the most of downhills is something that takes a lot of practice.

Running down a hill can be a lot of fun, but also a little scary if it’s steep and the terrain is uneven. Keep your eyes on the ground ahead of you to make sure you choose the right foot placement and remain upright.

Try to relax into the downhill instead of trying to put the brakes on. Go with the gradient and let it pull you down.

When you run down a hill, your arms are there to help you balance, so try not to think too much about what they’re doing and just let them go where the moment takes them.

If the gradient isn’t too harsh and the ground is runnable, push the pace and use the downhill to give you an advantage.

Training for hills: It’s ok to walk

Walk if you need to. Sometimes, walking up a hill is more efficient than trying to run up it and it means you’ll be able to run faster once you reach the top. Just make sure you’re walking with good technique: walking tall and driving your elbows back.

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