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Ashley Arnold November 18, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 1

Free Falling

Learn the right way to run downhill

Downhill running is an art. The chorus of a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song seems an appropriate anthem ...

Illustration by Lauren Arnold

Downhill running is an art. The chorus of a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song seems an appropriate anthem for a proficient downhiller plummeting down a gnarly slope: "... And I'm free, I'm free fallin.'" But for beginning trail runners, this seamless downhill dance takes practice.

Pro downhill ski racers regularly hit speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour, minimizing their times by taking the best line to avoid sliding, i.e. braking. And, even though it is impossible for a runner to travel that fast, many trail runners put on the brakes, crippled by fear and/or lack of technique. Here we've collected advice from trail running's top descenders to help you cut loose on the descents.



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