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proper form / how to approach hills (Read 653 times)

    Hello - I am returning to running after a 4 year pause. My goal is to complete the Austin Marathon (Feb 18th) in under 4 hours. The Austin Marathon is pretty hilly but so is pretty much every route in San Antonio. My question is if anyone has a specific approach to hills. How do you vary your pace and form for both uphill and downhill - or do you just push through them? I also wonder if anyone has any tips on proper form. Thanks!! Taylor
      Relax the ups, push the downs. On the uphills I focus on short, quick, light strides and staying relaxed, not blowing up. On the downs I just focus on keeping the turnover high and not overstriding, but letting them run to take advantage of the free momentum.

      Runners run.


      You'll ruin your knees!

        Relax the ups, push the downs. On the uphills I focus on short, quick, light strides and staying relaxed, not blowing up. On the downs I just focus on keeping the turnover high and not overstriding, but letting them run to take advantage of the free momentum.
        Very good advice, especially the not overstriding on the downhills. Leg turnover is key, if you lengthen your stride on the downhill, you significantly increase your risk of injury. Lengthening the stride on downhills puts much more stress on the feet/heels and knees! Good luck at Austin! Lynn B

        ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

          I agree with the above posts. One more hint to add: I've always found it helpful to split a larger hill into 2 parts. The first part I just run, trying to keep my leg turnover high. The second part I make a conscious effort to lean forward (into the hill). This usually gives me a second boost to get up and over the hill. I usually pick a spot on the hill to make it to before leaning forward.
            I think it depends if you're training or racing. Definitely faster for racing purposes if you do as mikeymike says. But for training, pushing the ups and recovering on the downs is one heck of a workout!

            Roads were made for journeys...

              Sort of--depends on what kind of training. On easy runs, tempos, long runs...just about anything except a hill workout, I still do the above. I do most of my runs on rolling courses and I think that approaching hills this way definitely helps with running economy. The only time I'll really push the ups, is when I'm getting close to peaking for races in the 5k-10k range and I'm looking for workouts to boost V02Max, which is to say very rarely.

              Runners run.