4 Tips to Master Hill Running
I have found that most runners fall into either one of two categories when it comes to hills. You have runners that really REALLY hate hills and avoid them at all costs and runners who would prefer to add some elevation to their runs and races for the sheer challenge of it.
Personally, I fall into the latter category. Maybe it’s because I am literally surrounded by hills where I live so I have no other choice but to make them part of my routine. Or maybe it just because I find flat roads and courses pretty darn boring.
Regardless whether you loathe or love them, chances are you’re going to run into a hill sooner or later that you’ll be forced to climb up. So, instead of finding yourself on the struggle bus, why not train so that you can tackle and dominate the hill like a master.
Here are four tips on how to make it happen.
P.S. These tips aren’t easy but they sure are worth it! 😉
Improve running form.
First and foremost, if you want to make running uphill feel effortless, you need to get your form on point. Upright posture, rapid turnover and stride are all key when making your way uphill. If you’re struggling with your running form, consider starting with warm up drills, incorporating mobility exercises and even specific strength exercises to help you improve your overall running economy.
Incorporate speed work.
And by speed work I mean hill repeats. Just kidding…sort of. Hill repeats have been said to be speed work in disguise. If you happen to live in a hilly area then doing hill repeats or combining repeats with strength exercises are a great way to build both power and speed.
If you live where the terrain is more flat then taking your repeats to the track also works. Both this Speed and Strength Workout and this Track & Core Workout are the perfect way to push the pace while you strengthen your core which helps to increase stabilization and keep you upright while going uphill.
Schedule in strength training.
Have I mentioned strength training yet? Seriously though, it is key. As I mentioned before, hills are a great way to build speed AND strength but if you want more bang for your buck and to get in a great sweat then adding in this Hill Sprints & Ultimate Sandbag Strength Workout once a week.
OR if you happen to live no where near hills then working the main muscles that you need to power yourself uphill is vital. This Hill Workout for Runners does just that.
You can also work on building running endurance and strengthening key muscles with plyo work. Jumping rope is an awesome way to not only increase your speed but also helps to decrease your ground contact time plus it will improve agility, power, balance and coordination. This Crossrope Jump Rope Workout (which uses weighted jump ropes) is a quick and easy way to incorporate jumping rope into your training routine.
Take time to recover.
Last but not least, it’s incredibly important to take time to rest, roll out and recover. Chances are, after you start training for hills your body will be screaming for some R &R. Since life doesn’t always allow us to spend hours doing so, these helpful tips explain how to maximize workout recovery time so you can get back to training quicker.
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