Running Tips For Cross Country: Hills
Andre Kaokane says that one of his best cross country running tips is for a runner to work on his or her hill running skills. It is one aspect of cross country running that separates the champions form the rest of the pack. If you want to compete well, you need to run hills well. The key concept is to use your energy efficiently.
If you try to charge up hills with giant powerful strides, you will be wasting a lot of energy unnecessarily. When going uphill, it is much better to conserve energy and maintain your momentum at the same time. You accomplish this by using shorter strides and faster turnover.
Think like you are “running tall” when going uphill.
Lean Into Hills
To maintain peak efficiency, you should lean into steep hills while running. Just be careful and don’t lean forward from the waist. Focus on the image of holding a straight line from the ankle (push-off foot) to the crown of your head. When you lean forward too far at the waist, the glutes and hamstrings must compensate by increasing their workload. Therefore they fatigue more quickly and become weaker as you go along.
Improve Your Downhill Running
Running downhill should be the easiest thing in the world, right? Actually, it takes a lot of practice to successfully master correct form when going down a hill. Your goal is to harness the advantage of gravity without expending extra energy. In other words, you don’t need to sprint downhill!
You do this by training your legs to turn over very quickly, while staying very relaxed so as not to burn additional energy. You must allow the legs to fly, without holding back (braking) too much. One big advantage to learning correct downhill technique is that a good downhill racer will always come out ahead of a good uphill racer, simply because of the speedier pace of going downhill.
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Happy hill running!
The Health and Fitness Connection recommends that you consult with your personal fitness trainer before embarking on new routines for strenuous exercise.