Be Prepared For The Uphill Battle!

beat-those-hills

Don’t let hills stand in your way of success at your next race.
Follow these training tips to eat those hills for breakfast!

The Carolinas are renowned for their rolling hills and Raleigh is no different. Throughout the Sunday course participants will encounter knolls of various inclines, so early training is the key to your success. When a hill comes up on a race course there is no way to get to the other side than to go over it. This can be difficult for those of us looking to PR, no matter how small the climb. Good news: there is a way to stand up to that hill and not stay on pace: hill repeat, repeat, repeat. 

We enlisted the help of Competitor.com, the Official Magazine of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, to share four easy tips to get your hill repeat training underway.

Hill repeats are your best plan of attack for getting your body physically ready to head up to higher ground. Practicing hill repeats consistently will not only make you faster up hill, but can also help you become an overall better and faster runner on flat ground.

Don’t waste more energy than necessary running or walking uphill. These four quick tips help retain momentum and proper driving force to get your over the hump and on your way.



TIP#1

Look ahead to help you stand tall as the incline will make you want to hinge forward. While it’s natural to want to lean into the hill, it negatively impacts your performance by shortening your hip flexor’s range of motion and throwing your body off balance. Set your gaze on the horizon and keep going. Before you know it, what hill?



TIP #2

Drive up your knees while still staying light on your feet, helping to quicken your stride. Equally important is fully extending your leg behind you when going into the “swing” phase of your stride. This helps use energy stored in your calf muscle and driving your knees helps activate those muscles with every step.



TIP #3

When your feet start slowing down, focus on pumping your arms, and your feet will follow.  We tend to pump our arms in tandem with the opposite leg. The science behind this is that it helps us maintain the body’s balance and moving in a straight line. The faster you pump your arms, the faster you go, whether you’re walking or running.



TIP #4

Try to stay relaxed and breath as normally as possible. Controlling your breathing helps to your mind focused and keep those creepy, crawly thoughts from taking center stage in your mind.


Remember, the climb is worth the view at the top! Don’t overthink the incline and remember to turn around to see where you just came from and take in the view from the top. The Raleigh course offers some of the best city skyline views, so just keep climbing! For more training tips or to read the full article, visit Competitor.com and don’t forget to register to eat those hills for breakfast come race day!