Become a Stronger Uphill or Downhill Runner

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Improve your performance on the steeps by addressing your weakness

Photo by David Clifford

When I played soccer as a (right-footed) young ‘un, a wise coach once told me, “If you can learn to kick and control the ball with your left foot as well as you can with your right, you’ll be twice as good a soccer player.”

The same wisdom can be applied to trail running, when it comes to the difference between uphill and downhill running. Most of us are dominant in one arena, with a veritable Achilles heel in the other—either we charge strong on uphills but suffer trashed quads on the downhills, or we fly down mountains but gasp for breath on climbs. By targeting your weakness in training, perhaps you could be twice as good a trail runner—or, at the very least, a little more confident on your next mountainous race.

Because questions about uphill and downhill running technique come up often, we pulled a couple of articles from our archives to help you improve your efficiency on hills, whether you’re on the way up or on the way down:

Now tell us … what’s your strength, and what tips do you have for others to improve in that realm?

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