Running: Downhill

"Don't run hard down that hill because you will pay for it later in the race". How many times have you heard that?

Initially I preached it also. And for what it's worth there is certainly some truth behind it. Running downhill certainly beats up your legs. I certainly do not run hard downhills with the fear of not finishing a race strongly or just finishing period. As of two weeks ago my opinion on this has dramatically changed.

Two weeks ago I was given a run session that required the same effort level on the flats as on the downhills. I knew immediately I would have to embrace running downhill and alter my original train of thought to achieve the goal of the session. I performed this session at the Old Westbury Campus which has plenty of rolling hills. Throwing caution to the wind, I focused and followed the game pan. At the bottom of the first hill I was expecting to feel my quads being torn apart. That feeling never came. At the bottom of each successive hill my legs felt great and while running up hills there was no issue either.

The following week I did a very similar workout and made sure to push on the downhills. No major issue while running. I was however insanely sore after the run. Oddly enough my calves were quite a bit more sore than my quads.
For years I was in fear of running downhills. Now I can't believe I don't. To think of how much time I lost on the downhill portion of a race is infuriating.

"I will run hard on the flats."
"I will run hard up the hills."
"I will run hard down the hills."

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