If you are a cross country or long distance runner and hills always seem to be the part where you fall behind, then it's time to stop struggling and learn these 5 tips for running uphill. Running uphill requires a slightly different form than standard running, and your form can make all the difference in how you perform. With just a little change in how you approach running uphill, you can turn it from your worst nightmare to your best friend as you use it to gain an advantage on the competition.
- Attack the bottom and the top of the hill. It's important to go into the hill with some speed, since you are likely to lose some speed as you run uphill. Spend some energy getting some speed before the hill. It is equally as important to attack the top of the hill, since you can afford to expend the energy as the running will get progressively easier as you top the hill. Many people will give in to their exhaustion and slow down as the hill ends, and you can take advantage of that.
- Make shorter and more frequent strides. Often, people will lengthen their strides thinking that fewer steps will make it easier to run uphill, when in fact the opposite is true. If you stretch your muscles out too much, they will tire quickly and you will not be able to keep up the pace. Shortening your stride and making more frequent footfalls will keep your pace up and not tire you out.
- Tilt forward slightly. By keeping your center of gravity over your feet, you will make it easier to keep up your speed when you are running uphill.
- Adjust your arm swings to make shorter and more forceful swings. Since you are shortening your strides, you need to shorten your arm swings to match. By making your arm swings more forceful you will help propel your body up the hill.
- Lower your head. You can also look straight ahead, but not up the hill. You can steal a glance every now and then to see how far you have to go, but you want your head down so that your back is straight and your body in sync as you run uphill.