Uphill Struggles

This morning reminded my a little bit of my first couple of weeks of C25K. Perhaps it was the rain and drizzle, or the fact that I was running Saturday and Sunday again, or maybe it’s because I’ve just started a new training plan, but for the first time in months I felt excited about my run without the pressure of feeling that I had to push myself to run in order to keep making progress.

After yesterday’s Parkrun, my plan for this morning was to head to the park for some hill practice. While I’m getting pretty good at maintaining a steady pace on the flat, I do struggle with the inclines. I know that I could maintain my pace running uphill, but my worry is that I’ll use up so much energy that I won’t have anything left for the last couple of kilometres.

So, I headed out just before 8am in the cold and drizzle, feeling surprisingly ache free after yesterday’s run. The park itself was fairly quiet, so I took my time to do some stretches and set off on my run at a good pace.

As expected, I struggled a bit with the inclines so I tried taking shorter strides, landing more towards the balls of my feet than the middle. Although I couldn’t maintain this for the entire incline, I found that it made me feel a lot lighter and enabled me to pick up a bit of speed for the steeper sections.

I have read a little bit about running uphill, but now that I’m doing it, I should probably look into it some more.

All in all, I didn’t improve my pace by much on this morning’s run, even though it was only 3K. However, I am learning new lessons with each run which will hopefully help me to run more efficiently in the long run.

What are your thoughts on running uphill? How do you adapt your running style for different terrains? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

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4 responses to “Uphill Struggles”

  1. ronaldlwalter says :

    I think you nailed it actually: shorter strides, landing on the balls of your feet just under your center of gravity, lean forward a little. Don’t be as concerned about keeping up your speed but make your effort consistent. You will slow down some on the hills but you don’t knock yourself out so badly.

    I have a harder time going downhill, just that I have to concentrate harder on my form so I’m not trying to brake while going down. It’s also tempting to try to overcompensate by running faster downhill and that can be as tiring as doing the uphill portion.

    I see some people who regularly train on a big hill near us. It’s a 42 meter climb in less than a half k, and they just run up and down that hill. I’m guessing after doing enough of that when they get into races that hill doesn’t bother them much at all.

    • theblogrunner says :

      Thanks Ronald. I bear that in mind for next week and try to stay more consistent – on the downhill as well as the uphill. 😉

      The hill in our park is about 40 meters or so but thankfully not as steep as the one you mentioned and it does have some flatter sections, so hopefully I’ll get more used to it over the next few weeks.

      Hope you’re having a great weekend and thanks again for the tips. 🙂

  2. Attempted Runner says :

    I’m no pro at hill work but I do know running on my toes (balls of my feet) keep me from stopping to a walk when I do attempt to go up them.

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