Sunday, July 31, 2011

Notes to Self on Hill Running

Since joining the Berowra Bush Runners Ive noticed Ive been getting a sore lower back quite often. After some research it seems common when you take on more hills. This is what Ive gleaned from my research about what to do...

1.Dont Hunch It's very easy to lean forward while laboring up the hill. However, this will contribute to a very sore lower back later on. So as you are running up that hill, think, am I standing up straight, and then stand up a little straighter.

2. Relax The athlete should look straight ahead, as they run (not at their feet) and ensure their neck, shoulders and arms are free of tension. Many experts believe that the "bouncy" action is more important than the speed at which the athlete runs up the hills.

3. Start Gradual Hills put high stress on your body. In addition to the stress of moving your body horizontally, you are increasing the stress due to overcoming gravity to move your body vertically, and the effect on your body is like you're running much faster. Because of this higher stress, don't do heavy hill training more often than once a week. During the rest of the week when you encounter hills during your run, consider the hills as LSD training and run them at a slower pace and then continue your run.

4. Strengthening Exercises Learn to love the plank..more here

5. Stretch and Massage: Here's an easy self massage tip. Form a loose fist, and use your knuckles to dig into and knead the low back area. Pay special attention to the muscles that run up along either side of the spine (don't massage right on the spine) and also right along the top edge of your hip bones, from the spine out to your sides. It's also helpful to massage the glutes, hamstrings and quads. You can use a tennis ball as a massage tool or buy one of the many self massage tools now on the market.

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