Friday, June 21, 2013

always run downhill


This is a little mantra or reminder I've been using for about a year now when I'm running. It started when I was out running in the mountains with a friend of mine who had a gps watch. Actually I think it was the first time I'd run with him. He was visiting from out of town and had never been up on a trail run before but had done a lot of road running. When we got back down from the trail he was amazed at how fast we had descended. Mentioning something like 6-minute/mile pace or something. Minutes per mile pacing numbers never really make any real sense to me so they become pretty meaningless numbers in my head. But the point is, we were going fast - faster than he would generally go. Which, of course, makes perfect sense because we were running downhill! It's easy to run fast downhill. You just let yourself drop. It's free gravity. The earth does all the work. 

But there's also a certain stride that develops going downhill that lends itself to speed. And once you've run that stride a lot on the downhill you can start to replicate it on flat ground and even uphills to some degree. You'll have to just try it for yourself. I don't think I can really explain it outright. But essentially it's about keeping a nice balanced body position and leading with your front foot. See what I mean? Impossible to describe. I mean, is there any other way to run? But it works. Or at least it helps to think that it works. Let your body just drop through every stride. Every step is a free-fall. Drop, drop, drop, drop, drop… 

This, I think, is how one can run forever…

2 comments:

Kristina said...

I love those moments when you're on a trail and there is a slight incline, but somehow the curve of the trail or the push that you already have as you descend makes the incline so easy, as if you were still going down.

mindful mule said...

Yes! Trail flow!