Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Hills

Cutting to the chase today so hang on.........

Tackling Up-Hills
Whether you are running or cycling hills, how you attack the upward slope, especially turns, can make or break your climbing. Often times people think that the best route through a turn is to hug the inside curve. That's not bad when you are on a flat surface. Once the road turns skyward the inside may be your worst choice.

The inside curve is often the point where the slope is the greatest, causing you to fight gravity even more. Try to outside corner instead, or at least move away from the corner. On a closed course you can use the entire road. The incline is usually more forgiving and you won't struggle up the steep corner.

Running the Down-Hills
Last year at a local du, Hinkley Buzzard Duathlon, I was running the downhills at a conservative pace. However there were several others that were charging down the hills and just blowing by me. That's when I knew I need to learn how to run downhill. You figure this would be easy since gravity is helping your down the hill. But more often that not you are subconsiously putting on the brakes. This braking action is counter to the downward momentum and puts a strain on your quads tiring them out too fast.

I read in Runner's World about running down the hills. In a nutshell it said to treat the downhill as a controlled fall. Let gravity help you move quickly, turning your legs over at a high rate and using your arms to keep your balance. Your body position should be perpendicular to the ground. I try to move my shoulders forward to keep the right position.

You will look and feel like you are about to fall over, but again subconsciously your body will compensate to prevent you from hitting the pavement.

Remember hills are out friends. Hills will make you both faster and stronger. Flat roads can't.

Game On

3 comments:

Cliff said...

Eric,

I love hill running. I am eager to do more and just holidng back now b/c I am still in my base phase.

qcmier said...

I love hills!!! Now if only I can ride up them more efficiently!!!

DaisyDuc said...

Never thought about those things, but I sure will next time....really enjoy these pointers!