It’s easier to run downhill, right? The Colorado Marathon’s 1,200ft elevation loss has led to thousands of Boston Marathon qualifiers and PRs, but it’s also contributed to DNFs for those who were not prepared for the unique challenges of extended running downhill.
How to Run Downhill Safely and Effectively
Colorado Marathon partner, Colorado In Motion’s Tim Flynn (PT, Ph.D.), has some tips to make you a more efficient runner and keep you healthy. His message? Brake and you break down. You’ll be prepared to challenge for a PR at the Colorado Marathon by being brave and training in small bits specifically for downhill running.
Begin your training by finding some hills and running in short bursts of 5-10 seconds, focusing on your trunk and where your foot lands. Get your foot back off the road quickly. Once you’re feeling fatigued, slow to a stop and walk while you recover and regroup. When ready, do another interval.
Tim sums up effective running downhill with three easy-to-remember tips:
Keep your trunk upright and stable. A strong upper body position is critical for effective downhill running.
Don’t brake! Get your foot back off the ground as quickly as possible. You want an engaged hamstring pulling the heel up towards the buttock.
When running downhill, feet must land below the upper body, not in front of the runner. The more upright you are, the more stable you will be.
By training specifically for downhill running, you’ll challenge your best finishes and cruise down Poudre Canyon and into downtown Fort Collins feeling great! Be sure to visit Colorado In Motion to learn more about Tim and his team of movement experts.
Find more great tips for marathon runners on our blog, and register today to secure your spot in the 2023 Colorado Marathon coming up on Sunday, May 7th!