MAS­TER DOWN­HILL RUN­NING

Trail Running (UK) - - Training -

Can you train to make your­self bet­ter at run­ning down­hill? Yes, of course. Con­fi­dence and prac­tice will al­ways make a dif­fer­ence. I used to do down­hill reps at the end of a ses­sion in the off-sea­son to get my legs used to it. They would only be short reps, around 30 sec­onds. I wouldn’t do down­hill reps in the main sea­son, but you can prac­tise down­hill tech­nique ef­fi­ciently in any down­hill runs. You don’t want to be run­ning hard on de­scents all the time, as this breaks down mus­cle fi­bres quickly and you’ll end up with sore legs.

DOWN­HILL TIPS

■ Be con­fi­dent in your abil­ity.

■ Lean slightly for­ward (de­pend­ing on the gra­di­ent), look a cou­ple of me­tres ahead and not at your feet.

■ Try to pick a line down a trail, with­out too much weav­ing around.

■ Use your arms as brakes. You’ll see peo­ple look­ing like a wind­mill wav­ing their arms all over the place. This is help­ing them to stay in con­trol, so you don’t have to use your legs as brakes all the time, which will wear down the mus­cle fi­bres. Have a go – it re­ally works!

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