Mention running up a hill to a runner and they may find themselves out of breath just imagining it. Generally, running uphill is associated with extensive effort, sore muscles, being out of breath, and fatigue. Because of this, runners tend to avoid the activity. Runners that do decide to tackle hills will typically run fast up the hill, taking long strides in an effort to conquer it as quickly as possible. Others may keep their heads lowered, not concentrating on what’s ahead.
The end result in both of these scenarios is a runner who reaches the top significantly out of breath with their legs burning due to tense, overworked muscles and reduced lung capacity. And then of course there are the runners that don’t even bother to attempt the hill, when really all they need to do is run a little slower and approach it with a different technique.
Tweaking your uphill running strategy can help tremendously regardless of your skill level. The larger the steps taken, the greater amount of strain on the calves and leg muscles to power up the hill. Choosing to run using all of the body as opposed to just the lower leg muscles can remove some of the pressure off of the legs.
Small steps are essential to reducing pressure on the quads and calves, preventing any bending at the waist. Relax the lower legs and don’t run on your toes. The reduced effort on your legs means you won’t need as much muscle power to move forward.
Since gravity is working against you when climbing uphill, use the back muscles and arms to help you. Move your arms upwards and forwards at the same time as your small steps and don’t tense up your shoulders or wrists.
Still having a tough time? Believe it or not, try smiling. The body relaxes when smiling, potentially removing any tension. Plus, it may just give you the lift you need to conquer those last few steps.
Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the Fitness eBook available to get your body in gear.