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Monday, April 2


The ABCs and running series: Today's topic "Downhill"
It was the perfect hill, 6 - 7% grade with a straight path. The reward - running back down, which I thought, was the easy part. Well, maybe for my heart but not for my legs. The pain (DOMS) in my quads was from going downhill - not up.
[Inducing microscopic tears in my thigh muscles.]
I no longer live near hilly terrains and miss this challenging workout. However, I don't miss the sore legs.  

'Downhills put the muscles in the front of the leg under intense eccentric duress."

Eccentric contraction occurs as the muscle is lengthening while contracting. So even though you're running downhill, your quads are working - trying to stop you from going too fast.

Things To Consider Before Running Downhill

I used to do this - thinking I was going faster when in actual fact I was probably braking myself and injuring my quads. This excellent article includes a study on different downhill strides. They found that normal stride is the best.
Going To Fast
Just think of being on a cycle at the top of the hill. As you start rolling down - your speed picks up. Same in running.
Warm Up
There is a 10k race in Eugene that takes the meaning of warm up to the extreme. [see below] The first mile of this 10K is uphill up then it's mostly downhill till the finish zone. {I imagine everyone had sore legs - not just me.]
Discover Gravity
Go with the flow, but not full throttle. And pay attention to the ground as it passes beneath you. This is not the time for a twisted ankle.
The complexity of muscle contraction
[Hill Grade = vertical climb / horizontal distance]

Butte To Butte 10K Race
Start to Finish
Eugene, Oregon