So, you might have heard a little rumor about the Lexus LaceUp Palos Verdes course…
It’s GORGEOUS. Yes. But in order to enjoy all the beautiful views on the Half Marathon, 10K or 5K course, you’re going to have to face some hills. Noooo!
The good news is that I’ve put together some tips to help you run hills strong and fast. You should have checked out the course profile and elevation when you signed up for the race. So hopefully you’ve always been eating hills for breakfast during your training. But, if you need some last minute tips – check out this list. See you on race day!
5 Tips for Running Hills
- Focus on your feet – Stay light on your feet and focus on proper foot strike. Aim to touch down on the ground with the front of your foot. Heel striking the ground is like stepping on the brake. And the combination of hills and heel strike will make it seem like gravity, the incline and your body are all working against you.
Use each hill as a chance to focus on your foot turnover and take quick steps. Think – ‘hill no heel’…
- Eyes on the prize – Look up! Keep your eyes on the prize – the top of that hill! Stand tall, keep your head up and shoulders relaxed. Don’t hunch over, but try to keep your core tight while leaning forward toward the top of the hill.
This one can be tricky because you want to check that your form is on point, but there are a lot of moving parts to keep in mind!
– Head up – toward a point in front of you (not directly down looking at your feet)
– Eyes – ahead of you, while watching your step and people around you (this can be more complicated during a race!)
– Shoulders – relaxed, we tend to tense up our neck and shoulders when running and do this, even more, when it gets difficult
– Core – Upright and tall, but leaning slightly up and forward can help work with gravity.
- Keep even effort. Let the hill slow you down, but keep your effort the same. Meaning – if you’re running at a 6 on a scale of 1–10 in terms of effort level – stay at that level while going up the hill. This means your pace might slow, but your effort and breathing should stay about the same.
- Pump your arms. As if all those reminders on your foot strike and focus aren’t enough – this is another important thing to keep in mind. I know it’s a lot to remember, but it will help you ROCK those hills.
Keep pumping your arms as you run up and down the hills. Don’t scrunch up or stress your neck. Keep your arms swinging at about a 90-degree angle forward and back – not in front of your body. Use the energy and momentum of your arms to keep moving you forward.
- Celebrate each hill. Hill running makes you a stronger, fitter runner. That’s awesome! Yes, you have to put in the hard work – but you get results from it. You deserve a medal (which is coming at the finish). But, you also deserve a victory dance for each mountain you climb. Give yourself some credit and a cheer every time you push yourself.
At the top of each hill give yourself a high five or fist pump and some words of encouragement… You did it. You rocked that hill. This can be out loud or in your head – but make sure to take a second to acknowledge how far you’ve come. And then…keep going!Good luck in Palos Verdes…I’ll see you on the course. You’ve got this!!
Monica is a Health Coach and RRCA certified running coach living in southern California. She blogs at www.RunEatRepeat.com, sharing adventures of running and eating delicious food all across the USA. “RER” started as a way to document her weight loss journey and training for her first marathon – now it’s updated daily with tips, recipes and more! Follow along at www.RunEatRepeat.com and on Instagram @RunEatRepeat.