Progressive Running

Running Form Correction and High Intensity Training

How to run downhills safely?

I bet you have always heard that running downhills is dangerous because it can injure you and running uphills is safer than all, even safer than running on a flat path. I would say they are some kind of true, especially about uphills. Regarding downhills I know of a way to run it fast and less prone to injury.

Why running downhills is risky?

It is simple, because gravity affects you more [than on flat paths], your speed increases a lot and if you travel too much in the air from one stride to another your impact to the ground will be higher than normal and that might hurt you somewhere in your legs. Getting technical with physics here, the formula is v = g.t in which g is gravity acceleration (varies around the globe between 9.8 – 10 m/s2) and t is the travel time. You should consider this formula on the vertical component of your speed, the one that is made by gravity pulling you down. Clearly, the longer time spent in the air, in a linear way the velocity increases resulting in hitting the ground harder.

If you have understood the above paragraph, to mitigate the injury risk of running downhills fast, we have to simply minimize the travel time in the air. Decreasing that time would keep you close to the ground to lessen the impact hence the chance of injury; but how?

As mentioned in my previous blog posts I am against some active moves, like active landing, active push-off, or active impose of stride length, etc. This time on running downhills I am not against being active at shortening stride length because at this situation gravity meddles too much with running form so that we have to do something for damage control. Here comes enforcing shorter stride length, allowing for higher cadence (stride rate)  to touch the ground more frequently. Easy on paper, tricky at practice, but that is the way to run down safely.

Note that what concerns you in here is the vertical component of that velocity not the horizontal. The horizontal one can increase with no issue and if you do not manage shorter stride length/faster cadence, the vertical component will go up too. Recap, simulate wheel by touching the ground more often to lessen the pressure at landing and allow the horizontal/forward speed roll you down as fast as possible. Mainly your lower legs move; each leg in turn beds at the knee, hamstrings pull a little, unfold the knee quickly to bring the lifted foot back to the ground, otherwise you will travel longer in the air by holding that foot up.

Is it that easy?

Not at the beginning but I assure you, once you learn it you will automatically switch to short stride length mode to run down any hills, even short ones.

No need to mention that on top of theory must come enough practice to master the whole thing. You should practice it when you are fresh (start of a running workout) as well as while being tired (towards the end of a running workout).

I can share a few notes to bear in mind to be able to perform this method correctly.

  • Make sure you do not push off the ground at all or what I am saying here will be useless. Pushing off the ground on downhills opposes the strategy of staying close to the ground. Read my previous posts on what it is and how to switch it off.
  • Activate your core and gluetus maximus (butt muscles). It is my own anecdote that squeezing tommy and gluetus maximum helps this technique a lot. The reason is, in my opinion from my own experience, this technique is mainly impleneted with lower legs due to the small range of movements required. So when only lower legs move much, upper parts of legs are pretty much for stablization and to provide a base for lower legs to move in the way required. This stablization demands gluets to hold and core to keep the turso affixed to hips.
  • Lean backwards to slow down and forward to speed up. Well, this is the same as what I would say for running on any surface using gravity (falling forward) to move on, but you may still keep that fall angle on entering the descending slope and end up in a high speed too quickly. Make sure you control it by slightly leaning backwards initially, then increase it as you feel confident. Remember your falling angle is your accelerator pedal.
  • This is a side note to the technique but is as important. Control your breathing on downhills. This is my own anecdotes again. There seems to be a direct connection between brain and eyes and other receptors that acts unconciously to incresae heart and breathing rate from perception of speed. Running downhills is usually faster than what we can manage by our pure effort on other surfances; this running downhills either causes excitement or our body prepares for taking more oxygen to our muscles by increasing heart and breathing rate due to apparent increase of speed, perhaps effort. Whatever it is, it is not necessary and a misperception. You are using less energy to go down a hill, and the only handle you have to control these two rates is your breathing one. Slower and deeper breathing always helps with slower heart rate. So look at it, you go faster while your cardiovascular system rests, is not that amazing?!

Hope this helps you run downhills better. I personally work on this technique a lot, somehow more than or at least equal to the time and effort I put on running uphills because it can actually save you more time during running races. Runners usually maintain the same form and rate of pounding the ground whereas they must, IMHO, switch between different techniques. Practice it on bumps on some roads if there are any around your usual running courses. Go up the bump and switch to quick and short strides on the way down. Turn around and do it again.

Good luck, any questions please email me on rez@progressiverunning.com or use the contact form.

Interesting Facts on Running

What they didn’t tell you about running?

Almost any runner you will come across will tell you she gets into a much better mood after a good run. Why? A good run makes the body to produce more endorphins which create a relaxed, euphoric feeling.

When people think of running, they think of comfy Nike running shoes and moving fast. What you probably didn’t know, however, is that running is more of a technique that requires training, especially if you are to become a great runner.

Is It Possible to Improve Your Running Technique?

Yes!

Today, running techniques are being effectively taught. Traditional belief that running is an inborn talent is no longer accepted – now it’s all about learning the correct way to run faster, spend less energy, and experience little to no injuries.

Running looks like an easy sport whereas running efficiently is a skill to learn. Pose Method of Running is one of the best ways to run efficiently. The pose running, which is something that professionals teach at Sydney Northern Beaches, most of the time by Dee Why beach, reduces vertical oscillation, removes overstriding and landing ahead of the body, and adjusts stride rate (cadence) to 180ish, while helping you save up to 50% energy at running.

Here are some tips that will help you become a better runner.

Stride Length

Stride length is the outcome of speed. In Pose running (running according to Pose Method), stride length adjusts by speed and is not something to enforce. Trying to extend it usually results in overstriding, and overstriding usually comes with landing ahead of the body, either on forefoot or heel, it would be at a braking angle which is blatantly detrimental to performance.

Forward and Arm Motion

Remember your physics lessons about streamlined bodies? The same theory applies to running. By running in a comfortable self-propelled posture, it is easy to attain more speed. The arms are inarguably used for stability as well. In Pose Method arms are only for balance; however moving them actively might help with moving more weight forward which helps with fall angle hence speed. In general they should never swing across each other. Arms moving too much or crossing body is usually a sign of pushing off the ground which is what Pose running advises to avoid.

Is Knee drive, good or bad?

Raising the leg all the way up to 450 angle consumes a lot of energy when running, unless you want to sprint at a higher speed (debatable). But when on a slow and consistent pace, or long distance running, knees should not move upwards, thus consuming less energy and increasing endurance. Having knees always low is one of the main characteristic of Pose runners.

Running Is the Best Way to Exercise Your Body Entirely

While consistent running is believed to be the best activity for burning calories, it is also effective for gaining muscles. Since it is a lower body exercise that relies on hips, feet, and legs, it improves joints flexibility. This is of utmost importance, especially when one gets older.

Running also provides the upper body with the same healthy flexibility. It is almost impossible to run without swinging your arms and slightly bumping up and down. This decreases the subcutaneous fat while increasing lean muscles.

Did you know that the faster you swing your hands, the faster you will attain speed and stability?

Healthy Running Tips

• Never eat immediately before going for a run.
• Avoid running when it’s too hot.
• Always drink plenty of water (before, during, and after running).
• Music is good for motivation. Don’t use excessively loud music when running on the road.
• Remember to wear reflective clothing, especially if you go for a run early in the morning or at night.
• Choose well lit and smooth terrains to avoid getting injured.

Running for a minimum of 30-40 minutes every day improves body metabolism and leads to better bone density, as well as keeping your body healthy and fit.

Check this out: https://www.16best.net/blog/unbelievable-facts-about-running/

Morning Shot of Metabolism Boost at Dee Why Beach!

Do you live at Dee Why or nearby? Would you like to get shaped up quickly while enjoying the beautiful sceneries of Dee Why beach early morning? Sign up today to get started any time you are ready and enjoy 4 extra weeks training for free!

Still not sure? how about one week free training to suss it out?

We do:

  • High intensity training
  • Strength training exercises
  • Boxing
  • and running

You can also check  your running form and technique with me:

The normal price is $99 for 6 outdoor sessions. You can have another 4 weeks on top of it for free as a part of your sign up package and you can use it ANYTIME.

For payment go here. It is on Persollo platform.

For contacts, email me on rez@progressiverunning.com or text me on 0422-462-928, or fill out the following form to get started soon!

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