Welcome to the Mike Varney Physiotherapy News and Advice blog

Hill Training

What goes up…

As the saying goes, must come down. In other words, at the top of every hill you will find an effortless stretch of running, or will you?

The lay man will tell you that running down a hill is easier and less work than running up the same hill but I will tell you otherwise. Without getting too scientific and physiological, downhill running is far more work than any hill you will run up despite the breathlessness, cramps or limited power you feel as you start your ascension.

The volume of work that needs to be performed by a single muscle group against the force with which you hit the road on a downhill, is compounded by gravity, leading to the term ECCENTRIC loading – lengthening of the muscle under stress. If the quadriceps are not able to withstand this stress, you will experience knee pain and possibly lower back pain due to poor core control. If your glutes are not stabilising your pelvis then the infamous ITB irritation is coming your way (immense pain on the side of the knee).

Running back up the hill will demand force production in the glutes and hamstrings which if shortened due to lack of stretching, will lead to you bending forward at the hips engaging the lower back which will lead to ache of its own, and potentially, knee pain from the quadriceps compensating for all of this and essentially giving you a feeling of misery post-run.

To prepare for hills you are encouraged to try out some of these exercises –

If you have any questions regarding running or have a running injury call us on 01279 414 959 or book online: https://www.zesty.co.uk/practices/mike-varney-physiotherapy

Did you know we are holding a FREE Running Clinic on Saturday 9th March? Come along for FREE talks, FREE injury assessments, FREE massage, FREE stretching demonstration, FREE goodie bags and MUCH more! Sign up here: https://mailchi.mp/mikevarneyphysio/runningclinic2019

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