Updated: Dec 5, 2021
Who goes up, comes down again. Since running down is also to be practised, we can use the winter to get used to the relatively long downhill sections of the EUT.
How do you run downhill as efficiently as possible without overloading your thighs and joints? The recipe is simple: by training your running technique and strengthening your core and legs.
Find a section of 80 - 100 m on a slope which is not too steep. In this phase it can also be an asphalted road, in 4 to 6 weeks you can start looking for a trail. Don't forget: in this phase we train technique, not speed.
Once a week, run down this section 8 to 10 times with short steps; thanks to the short step contact with the ground you avoid a braking movement, and you get your thighs used to the strokes.
Keep your legs slightly bent, land on the metatarsus, not the heel. Try to tense your core in order to stabilise your upper body and absorb the blows. Use your arms: they can be spread out like a high-wire artist - they will help you keep your balance on technical passages.
If you have already trained running uphill in the last few weeks, you can combine both exercises and run up and down. If you have paths with snow in the neighbourhood, use them! Soft snow cushions the impact, so you can also train on longer and steeper snowy routes. Don't forget to buy shoes with a good tread.
Many (mountain) runners have knee pain: you can prevent it with the following exercises once a week. Don't forget to warm up before doing these exercises:
Stand on your tiptoes, bend the knees and stay balanced for 15 seconds, repeat 10 times.
Walk down a flight of stairs and alternate between standing on your left foot for 15 seconds and on your right foot for another 15 seconds (choose 15 steps), repeat 3 times.