It’s All Downhill From Here
I’m pretty new to running and exercise in general really so when I started my weight loss journey I was mainly focussed on my diet.
When we brought our handsome puppy home in 2014 it kick started my exercise regime as with an energetic Hungarian Vizsla to keep occupied we covered a lot of miles walking him. I absolutely love to go out walking, it has to be one of my favourite things to do in any spare time we have as a couple or as a family. It’s benefitted us all massively and we just love the great outdoors! We’ve been to so many beautiful places and I truly believe all that beauty and fresh air is so good for the soul.
Last year myself and the hubby started to run with our dog Yogi. My hubby is an experienced runner having taken part in many organised events over the years and even hosted charity runs himself. Me and Yogi were less experienced but you can imagine the dog adapted to it within around 30 seconds as dogs generally love a fast pace which is why they can be such a pain in the backside on a lead walk!
If you’ve read my post about running with the dog you might remember me mentioning the killer hill. We live in Durham which has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the UK but part of it’s beauty is created by all the flipping hills. I’ve asked so many times ‘can we find a flatter route?’ but the answer is always the same ‘ahh the hills do you good’ which I guess is true but in my head I’m thinking I could run so much further if I didn’t have to recover from that hill. This got me thinking… I live in a hilly area so if I want to continue with running then I need to embrace the hills! I’ve researched the topic and here is a summary of the top tips that I have found really helpful in tackling those hills.
- Don’t approach the hill with an attack attitude. You don’t need to increase your speed to power through the hill. Instead, slow your pace to preserve your energy for when you resume normal pace at the top of the hill
- Adopt a steady rhythm which can be achieved by taking smaller strides. The steady rhythm will also help you to control your breathing
- Be aware of your posture. It’s so tempting to hunch over and lean into a hill. Avoid doing this and keep a straight upright posture
- Most people don’t even think about the downhill running as the uphill is usually the challenge. However, think about how you tackle the downhill journey too. Avoid big leaps to help reduce the pounding on your legs. Use this time to recover and take deep breaths.
- At the start of a hill don’t look to the top as this can be so disheartening to see how far you need to go before you reach the top. Don’t look down either. Instead, look around 20 metres ahead and keep your view fixed. This way you can tackle the hill in manageable chunks.
- Embrace the hill. You don’t hate hills. You love hills. Yes you do. Yes you do. Yes you do! Positive talk and a can-do attitude can achieve so much. You have GOT this!
Do you have any more top tips for hill running? Or do you stick to flat routes at all times?