Wednesday 2-18-09 Running Hills

We are to run #3 (posted at the bottom of this page) which is perhaps my personal favorite because I love McEwen - it's such a random street/alley.   Look closely at this run, because it's easy to miss your turn off of Porter onto 20th.  A good landmark is that if you run past the Rosepepper Cantina, turn around, you have gone too far. Hills

It does not take too long to discover that East Nashville is hilly, with the exception of Shelby Bottoms, which could be the only flat place to run in all of Davidson County!  This makes for pretty scenery, but challenging runs and races.  So how do you run hills?

For starters, you will slow down;  and in races, the downhills never "give back" as much as the uphills "take away".  So expect slower times.  (This is one reason why you should never compare your race times from different courses.  The only true analysis of your fitness gains/losses is running the same course in the same weather conditions.)  Also, be patient; hill running recruits some different muscles than running the flats, so if you just moved here from Chicago, and find yourself dying on the hills - give your body some time, your muscles will adapt to the hills.

Hill running is all about keeping the same effort level, and not the same pace.  Unless it's a very very short hill, you should never blast down a hill as fast as possible and carry that momentum up the other side.  When you hit a hill, you want to intentionally slow down at the bottom - don't wait until your body forces you to slow down.  Unless this is the end of a race, never allow your body to go anaerobic - even if that means a competitor passes you up the hill.  Take short quick strides up the hill, and when you get to the top, allow your stride to return to normal length and  get right back on pace.  This is important - if you run up a hill quickly, but under control, you should be able to immediately return to race pace.  Allowing you to fly past that person who surged up the hill and is spending the next 2 minutes trying to recover from that effort!

I'll see you guys on Wednesday.  Remember, there are still a couple of East Nasty shirts.  $25.  Talk to Drew.