This is another kettle of
runners complain of sore knees, shot quads, hips and back pain when you
mention downhill running.
running can takes its toll on your body. Ask any
Comrades runner which race hurts more, the up run or the down run, and 90%
will say the down run is worse for its effects on your body.
how do I save my body from this pounding? I train on downhills.
My “training ground” for hills is Black Hill (aka Glencairn
expressway). It is a fairly steep 3km climb to the
top. I run this at an easy pace. By the time I get
to the top my legs and body are pretty warmed up. I then run
back down the hill but I “up the pace” slightly so that I can feel
myself “working”. That’s basically it!
running I focus on my core
stability, ie. tightening my core muscles. This
helps stabilize the hips which in turn keeps the quads and hammies in
tow. When I first start this downhill training I
know all about it the next day. I feel like I can hardly
walk. This is good! I’ve woken up those
muscles. The more I practice downhill running,
the better conditioned my quads become. Strong quads equals
runners tend to hold back and stiffen up when running downhill in
an attempt to ‘soften the blow’. This does nothing to
help. The idea is to run as ‘relaxed’ as possible while
tightening your core muscles. Lindsay Weight said
to ‘trust gravity’ when downhill
running, and lean slightly forward while running
relaxed. I often drop my arms completely while running downhill,
this helps with relaxing the back, neck, shoulder and arm muscles.
Key words: Downhill
running, Comrades Marathon,
Internal links: up
run, down run, Lindsay Weight, core stability,