The sloped workouts They are one of the classics for the preparation of any race, especially if it is in the mountains (where it is definitely very rare to find a flat terrain, but that is the beautiful part of the mountain races) or if it is long distance. Sloped workouts, performed once a week and combined with series, short runs and longer runs, help us strengthen our lower train, take control of our body and prepare for the kilometers to come.
We are generally very afraid of steep climbs, although the most critical moment when suffering an injury is in the descents. This is how your body responds when it’s up and down slopes running.
Climb slopes: ideal for strengthening the lower train
You know: the day you have to do the slope training you will suffer in the climbs (although you will probably also enjoy the descents). The slopes of 30 seconds in sprint, or one or two minutes at a constant or progressive rate help us to strengthen all our lower train: an ideal long-distance face training.
During the climbs, the impact that our joints receive is considerably less than what we usually generate in plain. Of course, we compensate with a intense work of buttocks, hamstrings and twins, all forming part of the posterior muscular chain.
They also work the hip flexor, which helps us to raise the legs to stride, and the quadriceps, which help us propel ourselves upwards.
The right technique to climb slopes
The correct technique to climb slopes efficiently indicates that we must take shorter steps but maintaining a good stride pace, activate our entire central area to avoid flexing the hip too much (leaning down is counterproductive when climbing slopes), propel us from the toes and help us with the movement of the arms when it comes to propelling us.
Lower slopes: control and stability
The moment of the descent, although it may seem much simpler than the rise, is actually more critical when it comes to suffering an injury. Generally the descent is made after having climbed a slope, when our body accuses more fatigue, and the fact of having in our favor the force of gravity can cause us to get out of control and end up on the ground.
During the descents the articular impact is much greater than in the climbs or that on flat ground, which is why many people experience knee pain after a steep descent. In addition, during the descents the work of the muscles is of eccentric contraction (while they are elongated), and can generate muscular micro-tears that can take its toll.
The right technique to lower slopes
Running down slopes requires great control of our body, especially if the slope is very steep. Lean slightly back in order to keep your feet, hips and shoulders aligned, will give us a good position to descend safely.
Maintain a steady pace throughout the descent, no accelerations and sudden braking (It is common, if we get out of control, feel that we are packed down and try to stop damaging our knees), it will help us to protect our joints against effort.
Integrate the slopes into your routine little by little, combining different intensities and times in different workouts. And remember rest properly to facilitate recovery: The day after the slopes, you probably need to dedicate it to active rest.
This article was originally published by Lady Fitness in February 2017 and has been revised for republication.
Images | Saucony
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