Mixing up your training sessions is essential if you want to improve form, boost your speed, build muscle strength and increase endurance. Including a regular hill session in your training is a proven way to improve your running.
Tips for Hill Running Training
Hill running is not your usual kind of training. Walking up a hill is hard enough; now imagine running. Whether you encounter hills on the race course or in training, fighting gravity is no picnic, especially if you don’t have the heart. The good news is that though it’s tough, incline training can improve your strength and running economy when done correctly.
You may be wondering how professional athletes manage the task. By executing a smart strategy and maintaining proper form, you too can turn hill running into a strength. To maximize your power and efficiency when running downhill and uphill, you need to make a few tweaks to your form and strategy.
Remember that when exposing your body to such a strenuous activity, your muscles are the most affected. As part of your preparation to accomplish hill running, you need to work on your muscles. Also, ensure that your general health is in good condition. This will go a long way to ensure that you maintain your focus throughout your training.
In this post, we’ll discuss 5 tips that can save you energy and help you accomplish your hill running quest with greater ease.
Start With Your Pace
Whether you have been running for a while or you decided to take up a new challenge by running up and downhill, the last thing you want is to end up in pain. Running uphill will require you to strain more, making your body do to work extra hard to produce the needed energy. If you have not been exercising and you push your body to the extreme, things may not be good for you. It’s therefore advisable that on your first attempt to run uphill, try to study the reaction of your muscles for your safety. If you realize that your pace is making your heart beat too fast, you can always walk. Realize that walking uphill is a good workout as well.
The more you continue running uphill at your pace, the more your body will learn to adapt. With time, you will be able to sprint up and down like a pro.
Try to Walk More
If you want to be up for the challenge, then your lifestyle will need to change. If you are used to taking the lift up and down your apartment or workplace, start using the stairs. This will not only help in hardening your muscles but will go a long way to help you cut down extra fat. It is known that walking can help burn calories, and many people, especially seniors, resolve to walk for a certain amount of time or distance for exercise. When you walk more, you’ll be working out even on your busiest day. If you pay close attention to how elite athletes train, you’ll notice that they prefer mixing activities. They engage their bodies in light activities like jogging and heavy-duty workouts like weightlifting. That is because it helps them to engage their muscles and accumulate strength. As a hill runner, the same kind of lifestyle will benefit you as part of starting or improving hill running.
One of the reasons why you may have decided to improve your uphill running is because there is a hill nearby that you can access for training. Noting how much time it takes you to run up and down a hill will help you record your progress. The more you keep reducing the time with practice, you set a new challenge to direct you towards improvement. This is one of the main reasons why more experienced hill runners are much comfortable sprinting uphill. Knowing how long it takes you to complete your run, you will find it easy and fun to take up more challenging hills to see if you can improve your record.
Allow Your Body to Recover
Working out or practicing hill running can be risky if you don’t get some time to rest. When you engage in physical activities that make you strain, your muscles are put under high tension. Continuous exposure to this tension can be risky because it may overwhelm the muscles causing them to tear. Also, you need to give your body time to recuperate and restore damaged tissues in your body. You may not notice it, but as you practice, the small injuries you incur will only cure faster if you rest well. Other than repairing your body, a good rest will be a good distraction for the brain. This will help you maintain focus when you embark on your training.
Ease into the Downhill Run
As mentioned, hill running includes running up and down the hill. Most people put too much focus on uphill running and ignore downhill running. If you are new to this activity, you want to be extra careful with your downhill run. Keep your breaks close. If it helps, you don’t need to run in your first days, especially if the uphill run did a number on you. Avoid straining your muscles too much because it can lead to fatigue that can cause conditions like muscle-pull, which can be risky on your way down the steep. During your first few days, you can try running downhill on the last bits on your way down.
Hill running is a healthy exercise that anyone can take up. For you to make the most out of it, you need to take good care of both your mental and physical health. Eat right, stay hydrated, keep practicing, and, most importantly, apply the above tips.
For the best outcome, ensure that you have the right training gear, especially running shoes. Without the right shoes, not only will it be impossible to run to your full potential, but you will also be exposing yourself to injuries.