Trail Runners

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Can we discuss the power hike? (Read 373 times)

    I hadn't been trailrunning for a long time (insert long, boring, stupid list of reasons), but the last couple of weeks I did finally get the chance to see trees and trip over rocks.  Smile  On our normal trail run, there is a hill which we call "Granny," because we must go into granny gear to get up it.  It's steep, and even when the steep part ends it just keeps going up and up and up for about a half mile.  Brutal for me...usually.  This last time I think I may have mastered the power hike.  One foot was always on the ground, and I was booking it.  Left my running partner in the dust, in fact, and it was waaaay easier on my legs and lungs than it ever has been before.  Which brings me to my question:

     

    How do you know when to break back into a jog or run?  Like I said, the hill is about 1/2 mile, but not all of it is steep.  Once I got to the top of the steep part, I couldn't quite figure out what to do--keep power hiking, jog with little steps, normal walk...  I tried them all but still wasn't sure.  Is this something that just comes with practice, or are there principles I can learn here to take with me next time.  I have a 4 mile trail race in October that has two longish hills in it, and I think I can crush last year's time if I learn this power hike thing well.  

     

    Any thoughts?

    "We are not talking about gorse-bushes," said Owl crossly. "I am," said Pooh.


    Bacon Party!

      I don't "power hike" anything - sounds strenuous. But, I do try to keep up a steady effort.

      With practice, I've found an efficient walking technique that often sees me going up hills faster and more comfortably than "runners" around me. (Although, these are Michigan/Ohio hills... not mountains.)

      I switch gears to maintain a consistent effort and choose walking / running depending on which is faster for the same effort.

       

      That said, if I were racing a 4-mile race, I'd be much more likely to choose the fastest sustainable method of climbing - being willing to increase my effort a good bit given the short distance of the race. And, I'd be especially certain to push the downhills (rather than using a quad-saving technique that might net a slightly slower pace).

      Liz

      pace sera, sera


      under a rock

        I power hike anything that is significant in steepness and length. I actually won overall female in a 5k where I power hiked 3 steep hills. The girl that had been in the lead since mile 1, by a good bit, ran them. I caught up with her just a few minutes after the last hill. When I surged, too early in the race, to pass her she had nothing left in the tank and I kept it up for a good half mile. I had lots of male runners compliment me on that move. They said they were amazed at that final gear I found and held for that long.

         

        When I get up to the top of a hill I want my heart rate low enough to pick up a good pace, I don't want to be recovering from the hill. Also my legs will have the strength needed to handle a blast down hill immediately if needed. Down hill skills will help a person place better, especially in short races, you can go faster with a lower heart rate and still have energy to push it on the flats, plus many people are bad at down hill or too scared to spread their arms, say a prayer, and fly down the hills.

         

        One of my running partners used to run hills while I walked. We were always side by side. But, when we got to the top I had the ability to run and she needed the time to recover. She now walks the bigger hills. On long  climbs I mix it up to give my power hiking muscles a break. Walk the steep and run the flatter spots, even if they are short.

         

        One big thing I tell people when they ask about walking hills is to start your walk before you start to feel tired or your heart rate gets too high so you can power hike and not do a recovery walk.

         

        As far a deciding what to do on the less steep parts that is up to you. I would probably run some but go by feel.

         Goals: 1)Get my IT Band to cooperate 2) Run lots of trails. 3) Get my back to cooperate.

          Ashley!

           

          This was exactly what I was looking for.  Everything makes sense, and I'll probably print it out to reference easily before my runs.  I have about a month to practice this until the race.  

           

          Jeni

          "We are not talking about gorse-bushes," said Owl crossly. "I am," said Pooh.

            And when power walking hills, remember Baby Steps.  Too big of steps puts unnecessary exertion on your quads.  Small quick steps, push from the forefront of the foot, and swing the arms.  If your arms are swinging at a good momentum, your legs will follow.  Use the same "measuring stick" with climbing hills as running.  If you're out of breath and can't carry on a conversation (sing the ABC's, etc.), you're pushing it too hard.  And why try and run up something that you can power walk up just as fast and more efficiently with less exertion?

             

            Another way to build up your hill climbing stamina in training is to incorporate run/walk ratio.  Run 20 steps, walk 20 steps - or whatever works for you.  You may find that as a general rule on the less steep hills, a run/walk combo works well, too.

            Leslie
            Living and Running Behind the Redwood Curtain
            -------------

            2014: May - MDW 70-Miles; July - Mt. Hood 50


            "The farther you go outside, the farther you go inside." (Unknown)
            Ultrarunnerpodcast

            Trail Runner Nation

            Fatozzig's Place

             

              I thought this was going to be the thread for me to rant about my power company hiking my electrical rates.  Joking

                I thought this was going to be the thread for me to rant about my power company hiking my electrical rates.  Joking

                 

                 

                Big grin

                Leslie
                Living and Running Behind the Redwood Curtain
                -------------

                2014: May - MDW 70-Miles; July - Mt. Hood 50


                "The farther you go outside, the farther you go inside." (Unknown)
                Ultrarunnerpodcast

                Trail Runner Nation

                Fatozzig's Place

                 

                  I practiced again today and I think I'll do fine on my trail race in 2 weeks.  It's the first trail race I've ever actually wanted to RACE, so I'm a little nervous.  

                  "We are not talking about gorse-bushes," said Owl crossly. "I am," said Pooh.