Running Uphill Vs Downhill- Today’s Workout

This morning my workout partner and I ran South Mountain. We did this in preparation for the Jerome Hill Climb which is going to be held in a couple of weeks. As you can guess both of these are steep up hill (all the way) runs. Although I was pleased with my conditioning and the time it took us to complete this run, there was one aspect that really stood out, and surprised me. While we were running the hills of the first half my legs were able to kick into gear and I was able to advance much quicker than my running mate. Anytime we leveled off and the grade changed (including the 2nd half which is all downhill) he was far and away the stronger runner. Now I realize that we use different muscles going up than we do going down. But I can’t imagine that my quads were that much weaker for him to just blow right past me, when, while we were going up I was able to do the same to him. As a trainer I know that I can manipulate my muscle groups so that I can increase my strength in one area over the other. But I’m curious, have you experienced this as well? What have you done to equalize the strength in your legs? Did you change the way you ran the downhill? Was your technique different?

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2 Responses to “Running Uphill Vs Downhill- Today’s Workout”

  1. Marcia Reynolds Says:

    I lean slightly forward to allow gravity to help move my little round body down the hill. I have also heard that the speed going down depends on how you relax into the run since there is a tendency for the brain to see the threat of falling and tighten your muscles in preparation. My suggestion is to think happy thoughts instead of irritated thoughts when you buddy blows by you.

  2. longevitypt Says:

    Thanks for your suggestion about the running technique Marcia. As far as the “happy thoughts” suggestion, I’ll try but I’m not so sure that my competitive brain will allow me.

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