Running form and running downhill

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Running form and running downhill

Postby littlegirlbunny » Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:23 am

Hi Everyone! :D

Im just trying to sort out my running form because it really is awful (no wonder running fast has always been so hard :shock: ). So I am working on my stride by increasing the length and picking my knees up a bit more. Its a killer, my run this morning felt soooo different. But it feels faster and I know once I am used to running like this it will hopefully feel comfertable. However, any tips would be greatly appreciated. :D

Additionally, running downhill is my nemesis. It would be so good if you run hills without having to come back down them again :lol: I find that I am either holding myself back (which obviously stresses my legs unnecessarily), or if i let gravity take me then i feel like my spine is crunching all the way down :shock: What is the best way to run downhill? Any ideas?
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Postby runner » Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:44 am

Hi LGB,

when you run downhill it's as you mentioned not a good idea to block your speed. the best thing you can do is let your leggs roll.. personally i prefere to run upwards as well, but that's some fact off a hill.. this will be nice when you run in Amsterdam ;)
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Down

Postby Oak » Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:00 am

Yes i've learnt that with running downhill, i just almost let my self go, just let my legs fall down the hill in a way.
I also don't pick my legs up to much personally as i hate the feeling when i'm running downhill of slamming my feet on concrete. Ouchers.

Usually I like running uphill, but not the day after squatting, my bum and hips hurt to much :cry:

Oak :D
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Postby Fruitbat » Thu Sep 08, 2005 7:34 am

i have to run up alot of hills and thus down alot of hills and i dont hold myself back but i dont let myself go completely either as i run on roughish terrain so if i tripped it could be disastrous (i dton really want to do a header ofer the cliff edge) - if on concrete then i let myself go completely.

when i run i run on my toes and lift my legs quite high - i think this is a sprinters stance but its quite good for lightness on the feet and maybe speed also though it sure takes some getting used to and definitely rings on sore calves until you get used to it...

fell-running the other day was different again - we aim to interval or walk up and then run on the flat and the downhill at the KIMM - of course this is compeltely rough off-trail running so its important to be fluid and flexible but to watch where your feet go and control yourself on steep descents as your feet need time each time you put them down, to rest on the uneven ground. Be especially careful on long grass or heather etc.... running on the flat through a bog is the most tiring though
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Postby littlegirlbunny » Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:31 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone :D

I am working on letting gravity take me down the hills a bit more, but im not sure i like the feeling of being out of control of my legs too much!

[quote]i have to run up alot of hills and thus down alot of hills and i dont hold myself back but i dont let myself go completely either as i run on roughish terrain so if i tripped it could be disastrous


I have this problem too, there is a certain amount of concentration required to run off road, and if i am flying downhill it doesnt always feel that safe!

[quote]when i run i run on my toes and lift my legs quite high - i think this is a sprinters stance but its quite good for lightness on the feet and maybe speed also though it sure takes some getting used to and definitely rings on sore calves until you get used to it...


Wow, im not sure i could ever run like this! I cant believe you run on your toes :shock: thats mad - although no doubt very effective.
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Postby Dave Noisy » Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:00 am

Just an odd note: apparently running downhill is one of the best way to build up your calves.

It's that heavy concentric activity that really makes them blow up.. When i was training for the 10k, it seemed like my quads literally melted down and into my calves...and once i stopped running my calves shrunk a bit and quads got bigger again. =)
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Postby GenTDuke » Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:56 pm

[quote="Dave Noisy"]Just an odd note: apparently running downhill is one of the best way to build up your calves.

It's that heavy concentric activity that really makes them blow up.. When i was training for the 10k, it seemed like my quads literally melted down and into my calves...and once i stopped running my calves shrunk a bit and quads got bigger again. =)


Its all that braking, downhill running is the best way to develop your tibialis as well!
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Postby Fruitbat » Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:35 pm

downhill for long and steep - wow hurts my hamstrings but not my calves - but prone to twisting my ankles


the running on my toes thing i find is really good but if you are tired, its hard to get going - i used to run flat-foot but found hills easier once i got used to toes and balls of my feet
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Postby buggy » Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:46 am

Running down hills is great for increasing speed...it gets your legs used to going faster than normal. Seeing that you want to focus on your form, I suggest you work with some gentler slopes first...particularly if you're trying to get the hang of working with gravity.

Key points:
- there is a tendency to want to fight gravity (i.e. leaning back, whacking your heel down, making your stride too big)...this is bad because it puts undue stress on your joints and muscles
- instead, make friends with the hill :). Lean forward a bit to shift your centre of gravity and let the hill pull you down. You'll probably want to shorten your stride a bit, and also focus on keeping your knees soft and striking the ground with your midfoot (is this the right terminology?--I trying to say that you don't want to hit the ground with your toes or your heel first). This should all help you maintain control and to enjoy your descent!
- please be gentle with this new training. If you feel any soreness/strain in your calf-achilles area, stop! It likely means you're being too aggressive or the hill is too steep for you just now. (You don't want to push it...achilles' injuries are the worst. I would never wish them on anyone.)

A final note:
Thanks, littlegirlbunny for this thread! You're giving me a much needed reminder to start my speed training. :) Ahh...so much to do...
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Postby buggy » Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:49 am

[quote="Fruitbat"]downhill for long and steep - wow hurts my hamstrings but not my calves - but prone to twisting my ankles


the running on my toes thing i find is really good but if you are tired, its hard to get going - i used to run flat-foot but found hills easier once i got used to toes and balls of my feet


Some thoughts popped into my head after posting:
- I recommend against running on toes in my above post (not because it's necessarily bad) but because striking the ball of the foot first lends more control...important for littlegirlbunny if this is a new thing for her.
- Fruitbat, I have annoyingly floppy ankles as well :)
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Postby littlegirlbunny » Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:57 pm

[quote]A final note:
Thanks, littlegirlbunny for this thread! You're giving me a much needed reminder to start my speed training. Ahh...so much to do...


Well, the thread was started a while ago, but pleased to have been of assitance :lol:

Good tips by the way - despite this being 4 months later, my downhills have still not improved a great deal, so i'll take your tips with me next time i run! I guess it could be to do with the fact the slopes i run are pretty steep - if you go up them, you have to come down again!

[quote] I recommend against running on toes in my above post (not because it's necessarily bad) but because striking the ball of the foot first lends more control...important for littlegirlbunny if this is a new thing for her.


Well, there would be about zero chance of me running on my toes anyway - im about as flat-footed as they come! :lol:
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