Here's one thing to change about how you approach running downhill.
- Don't lean back. Allow gravity to pull you downhill. Imagine that your body is perpendicular to the hill. Yep — lean your whole body forward, and don't break at the waist.
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- Keep your stride small. Taking larger steps puts more pressure on your knees and makes your quads work even more to control the downward pull of gravity on your body. Keep your steps small and underneath you. This might feel weird at first, but certainly becomes easier with practice.
- Run on the balls of your feet. No matter where on your foot you usually make contact with the ground, running downhill striking midfoot or forefoot will keep you light and prevent you from overstriding and landing hard on your heel.
- Use your low abs. Running downhill is perfect time to recruit your low abs, if you tend to run with zero connection with your midsection. The low abs help support your torso, so the increased impact of running on a decline is not going just into your knees.
- Strength train. Single-leg squats are great for conditioning your legs to handle the eccentric strain of running downhill.
How do you feel about hills? Have a tip to share?