Being a hiker and a runner, hill running is a great way to combine the two. If I can’t get to the mountains to hike, hill running through the streets is the next best thing. Here is an article about how it benefits you as a runner and how to do it the right way:
Hill running is something that runners may not like to do, but know that it will make them a stronger runner. Hills are not easy, but they can get easier for you to maneuver. There are several benefits of running hills. Read on to find out how hills can benefit you as a runner – and the proper way to tackle hills.
Running hills will strengthen your calves, hamstrings, quads and glutes more so than running on flat surfaces. This will definitely make you a stronger runner and will make running seem easier on all surfaces. Strengthening these muscles will also help prevent injuries from running.
Hill running will also help you to get faster. Believe it or not, the same muscles that you use to run hills are the same ones that you use for speed work. So, when you come to a hill, just remember that it has many advantages for you. Running hills are something that many runners put into their schedule about once a week to make them a stronger runner.
To properly run hills, you want to maintain the effort that you were with when you started up the hill. Yes, you will run slower up the hill, but you make it up the hill without running out of breath when you reach the top. Your stride will shorten slightly as you go up the hill depending on the degree of incline. Then, you will lengthen it back out to normal as you reach the top of the hill.
You want to run up the hill with your back straight – or maybe leaning a little. Many runners make the mistake of hunching over as they run up a hill. This will hamper your breathing as you run up. Make sure that you are looking straight ahead – you don’t want to keep looking at your feet. Running with incorrect form will make hills seem a lot tougher than they are.
Your arm swing is important to getting up hills, also. Your arms should be moving forward and back as you normally do as you run. Also make sure that are not clenching your fists. This will make you overly tired and will also restrict blood flow through your arms as you are pumping them to run up the hill.
With knowing how hills benefit you and help you become a stronger runner, you may just learn to like running them. Especially if you are using correct form.