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Debbie from Coach Debbie Runs shared a few tips and benefits yesterday for running downhill. I think some of you will really enjoy reading it. Here’s a snippet:
Quite often though, after finishing that hilly race, after killing those hills, you’ll find that your body aches, and may even have some slight injury, not due to the uphills, but because of all the downhill running.
Running downhill is a lot more difficult that it might seem at first glance. It’s easy right, after the physical and cardiovascular challenge of running uphill? It should be a breeze! But running downhill causes muscles to lengthen or make eccentric contractions, which can cause microscopic tears and generate more force than when running uphill or on flat surfaces. And running at top speed, which is easier on the downhills, causes your feet to hit the ground harder, which in turn causes the muscles, bones, and joints to endure more pounding.
What can a runner do to prevent or minimize these negative effects? Simple. Just add some downhill running to your training plan.
4 Benefits of Running Downhill
- Running downhill will train your body to…run downhill.
- Running downhill can improve leg turnover.
- Running downhill can improve speed.
- Running downhill will cause the microtears mentioned above in training, which will repair themselves stronger than before and prepare your body to handle the downhills during race situations.