AUGUST 11 2016

BY COACH STUART MUNRO

OVERCOMING 

THE RAGAR LEG

Focused Workout

Through hill workouts you can train strength, intensity and mental focus, and you can usually do so in a shorter amount of time.


Competitive Improvement

During a race, if you pass someone on an uphill, you will likely psych them out, hence there is significant competitive advantage to running strongly on hills. To do this, you will need to have trained strongly on hills so the hill effort is sustainable within your race plan.


Top Tips for Hill Running

  • Keep your head and eyes up to maintain an open airway for breathing.
  • Shorten your stride and increase your cadence
  • Develop lower leg balance and stability for the downhill.
  • Focus your mind on how good it will feel to be at the top of the hill.

Trail Running

I love trail running and almost all trails include hills, or at the very least undulating terrain. Comfort with hill running opens up the world of trails for many enjoyable runs. My recent Transrockies adventure was made possible through my enjoyment of hill running.


Course Selection

Once you are comfortable running on hilly terrain, you can run many more courses and locations and race without fear of a ‘Heartbreak Hill’. Instead of being one of the many who totally de-power on the incline, you can be one of the few who maintain a positive mindset and smooth momentum while running uphill.Personal ImprovementHills can help you spot weaknesses, physical or mental, in your training. Once you find one or more weaknesses, you can focus your training to improve in that area.


Personal Improvement
Hills can help you spot weaknesses, physical or mental, in your training. Once you find one or more weaknesses, you can focus your training to improve in that area.

When I start this conversation, people often ask what it is I love about hills. I respond by outlining some of the benefits of hill running.


At the beginner level, hill training can be daunting. Many beginners run relatively well until they reach a hill at which point they then struggle physically and mentally, which detracts from their overall running experience. Once runners become more comfortable with hills, not only do they enjoy more of their runs, they also open themselves up to the possibilities below.

One of my goals as a coach is to teach more runners to enjoy running hills. What’s that you say? I’m crazy? Quite possibly, but there are many good reasons to work on your enjoyment of hill running.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Coach Stuart Munro

Coach Munro is a lifestyle-athlete and a running coach based in Brisbane, Australia. He is certified by the Athletics Australia as a Level 3 Middle and Long Distance Running Coach.

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