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Tips on How to Run Downhill

Running downhill can be very hard on your body. If you run downhill properly, your knees and back won't be sore afterwards. To run down hills effectively you need to practice running downhill.

  • Run on soft surfaces
    • Grass and chip trail are best.
  • When running downhill, keep your body perpendicular to the road or trail.
    • Avoid the urge to lean back.
    • Leaning back will add stress to your body and slow you down.
    • Leaning back will also cause you to consume more energy and may increase the risk of injury from increased impact.
  • Do not slouch forward, shuffle your feet, rock your body from side to side or swing your arms or your legs out to the side, don't shuffle your feet.
  • Let gravity help you.
    • Do not strike on your heels.
    • If you strike your heals, your foot will land too far in front of your center of gravity, causing you to put the brakes on.
  • Run with shorter strides.
    • Short strides are less demanding on your leg muscles than long strides.
  • Watch for hazards on hills.
  • The number of times one foot strikes the ground in one minute (cadence) should be about 100 times.
    • It is important that you increase your cadence when descending because this will lessen the impact that each foot strike has on your body.
  • Practice
    • In order to run down hills effectively you need to practice running downhill.
  • Jog lightly when you reach the bottom of the hill.

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