Hill Running: The Benefits Are Uplifting

You may not think that running uphill is a comfortable thing, but the fact of the matter is that it is very beneficial for your body. Not only does it force you to use a variety of muscles that you do not normally use, but it can actually help to increase your capabilities across the board. Hill running is something to consider if you want to improve your running performance.

Hill Running Benefit: More Muscles Used

In exercise in general, the most beneficial exercises are those where you use as many muscles as possible. It just makes sense that the more flex you give a muscle, the better it will be. It also makes sense that the more muscles utilized, the better you will get at this type of training. In hill running, you use more muscles than in other types of running and you use them more efficiently. You even will use muscles that you normally do not exercise through your daily or weekly runs.

But, it's more than just that. Because of this added muscle use and the simple fact that you are getting a more vigorous workout in hill running, you will find that your body ends up burning calories faster. You will also begin to boost aerobic and anaerobic capabilities. Hill running will also give you greater focus which is something that you will use throughout your running career.

Hill Running Tips

Okay, so not all areas are made the same and not all hills are right to run up and down on, but you are looking for some specifics here. Do your best to find a hill that is about a five to ten percent grade. It should take you about a minute to a minute and a half to run up it. Do this at a hard pace. Additionally, take a minute to check out these steps:
  • Start with a warm up that is about fifteen minutes long. Use small slopes to help you get accustomed to it. Jog here.

  • Next, get started with eight to ten charges at a good, hard pace. You can then add one or two more charges per session. The goal is to keep your time coming down though (negative splits).

  • Its all in how you run. Find a specific spot to land each time and make sure that you are using the right form as well. You will want to run with a slightly higher knee lift while you pump your arms vigorously. Lean slightly forward but keep your head up.

  • During each descent down the hill, running should be slow, not hard.

  • Watch your breathing and heart rate. If they are too elevated, slow it down some. If this doesn't seem to help, you may need to stop for the day.

  • End your hill running with another fifteen minute slope jog.

You can also get some hill running in by using a treadmill. Use a 90 percent of max incline for your charge and two minute flat (no incline) jogs for your recovery.

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