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HOW TO RUN UPHILL AND UP MOUNTAINS ON THE TRAIL

 

Some good recommendations to go uphill and mountains on the trail is very important to support our muscle strength and avoid some injuries. When I hike up through some hill and mountains terrain, I actually focus on several little techniques for handling going uphill. How to go uphill more efficiently is important so that we can avoid feeling pain and so tired.

 

Some negative versions of our hiking form, includes taking very long strides and landing hard on the outstretched foot, bobbing our head and upper body forward when we land, and not pumping our arms. 

 

It is very common to have our form suffer as we get more fatigued, however, these poor technique forms will make us feel more tired even quicker. This is mainly because they require a lot of energy for a better running form uphill.

 

To focus on working and correcting our form while going up the mountains will be very efficient. Also, to wear much better trail shoes according to our foot type will help support our good running and hiking form.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS TO DO TO MAINTAIN OUR GOOD PACE AND ENERGY LEVELS WHILE HIKING OR RUNNING UPHILL.


WHICH MUSCLES TO USE

 

The first thing to focus on is that we want to be using the muscles on the back of our legs (posterior chain), for the most part. The reason why is because they are not going to fatigue as quickly when going uphill as muscles on the front of our legs like the quads will.

 

So we should think about engaging the glutes, hamstrings, and even calves more because they are some of the strongest muscles in the body and they’re meant to force most of the responsibility. 

 

POSTURE

 

The next thing is to remain upright with our pelvis pushed slightly forward. This will be keeping us from folding over the hill with our upper body. The last thing we want is to be leaning our head, neck, shoulders, and chest over the hill while trying to run up it.

 

Staying upright will keep the tension out of our upper body and help us to keep breathing well. To maintain this form, we will need to keep our glutes activated. Squeeze our glutes and we will notice that it pushes our pelvis forward slightly and propels us to start moving forward.

 

Again, the glutes should be taking most of the work here. They have the strength and are one of the most efficient muscles for running uphill.

 

 FOCUS ON THE INCLINE

 

Now that our body has the right posture and we’re ready to propel forward, it’s time to think about the incline of the hill. Many runners, will lean over the hill with their upper body as a way to compensate for the incline. This is very inefficient and tiring. 

 

Instead, we will make up for that incline by bending at the ankles. Not the back, hips, or knees, just the ankles alone. Our body is upright with the glutes and pelvis primed to move forward, we just need to balance ourself on that incline by bending at the ankles. Nearly all our weight should be on the balls of our feet, depending on how steep the incline is. 

 

When more ankle mobility is needed, lower cushioning shoes make a difference. The unique lower sole ensures that the heel is level with the ball of your feet. Regular shoes or with more cushioning come with an elevated heel, we need to wear shoes according to our foot type and ankle. If our feet are not as strong or stable or with some soreness, we should wear good trail shoes with some cushioning but also with some stability. A good recommendation is the Hoka Speedgoat 5. For runners with strong feet and good ankle stability and flexibility they can wear more stable trail shoes.

 

So for uphill running or hiking, to wear trail shoes that our feet will feel very comfortable, they will allow our ankles to bend a little further than uncomfortable shoes would, giving us better balance and improved control over the trail.

 

HIGH KNEES

 

When we start moving, we should  lift our knees up slightly higher than normal. It’s just like regular running, but slightly exaggerated because we’re going uphill. 

 

When our foot comes down to land, we push into the ground and pull it back behind us as we push off again. Think of it as grabbing the ground like a claw with our feet and throwing it behind us to give ourself the hardest push off.

 

Lifting our knees up for a prolonged period can be tiring, so we should make sure to wear lightweight shoes, not too heavy,  to help us grab the ground and push off strong. 

 

STRIDE LENGTH

 

We should keep our stride a bit shorter than usual. To run uphill with longer strides, we will get tired and these long, heavy strides will force us to land flat-footed.

 

We need to take shorter strides to stay of the balls of our feet and keep ourself from tiring too quickly. This will help us maintain more control over the situation and complicate things less.

 

USE YOUR ARMS


Lastly, pump your arms more than usual. Again, just like regular running but with a little enhancement to make up for the incline. We shouldn’t overdo it, but to give ourself that extra momentum. 

 

The arms don’t have any part on the ground, so they make up for that with the balance they provide and the extra energy they give to make the leg muscles’ work a bit easier. 

 

We should apply these techniques one at a time until they feel natural to us and we can see why they are recommended. They apply to any form of movement, as long as we’re going uphill.

 



 

Concentrate On Good Leg Muscle Strength When Going Uphill, And Up The Mountain Trails, And Good Posture Of Your Feet, Arms And Body, Feel Stronger And Less Fatigue When Running High-Elevation, And Avoid Some Injuries, Enjoy Great Mountain Climbs!

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