Tips for Effectively Running Uphill

With the weather getting warmer, you may find yourself leaving the treadmill behind on occasion in favor of running outdoors.  Not only does running outdoors allow you to take in different sites and sounds than those you see while running indoors on a treadmill, it also makes it possible for you face different challenges such as running up and down hills.  Although treadmills offer incline options and some even offer decline options, many serious runners find it beneficial to still head outdoors on occasion in order to work their muscles in different ways.  If you are heading outdoors for your run, however, it is important for you to understand how to effectively run up a hill.  This way, you can avoid injury while also getting the best workout possible.

Why Leaning is a No-No

The biggest problem that many runners face when tackling a hill is the tendency to lean into the hill.  The reality is that leaning into the hill is a not a good way to get an effective workout.  While leaning does force your muscles to work harder, this doesn’t equate to a better workout.  Rather, it simply causes them to wear out more quickly, which can slow you down for the rest of your run.  In addition, leaning causes excess stress to be placed on your lower back, which can result in injury.  Finally, leaning while running uphill forces you to take shorter strides, which actually weakens your ankle’s natural flexion action.  So, in the long run, you are actually doing your muscles more harm than good.

Achieving the Proper Posture

To effectively run uphill, you should make a conscious effort to keep your posture perpendicular to your horizon.  You can keep your body perpendicular by keeping your head straight up and running tall.  This will take stress off of your back so you don’t experience lower back pain and other problems that will impede your progress rather than helping you take your running to the next level.