3 Tips for Stronger Hill Running

During class I get a lot of moans and groans when I include hill repeats.   I, too used to dread running hills because frankly it’s hard work but have have learned a few tricks to make hill running easier.  Here are 3 tips to get you to the top of that hill!

Shorten Your Stride

The common mistake I used to make running up hills is that I attacked them at full speed and tried to bound up to the top.  A better approach is to shorten your stride and  use a quicker foot turn over up the hill.   Imagine you are pitter-pattering up the hill.  Your mantra should be “short and quick, short and quick”.  Running this way may feel odd and slow the first few times you do it but trust me, once you get the hang of it you will be at the top and still feeling strong.

Use Your Arms

Your feet will go as fast as your arm speed dictates so pump your arms like pistons.   This combined with the shorter stride mentioned above will get you a faster foot rotation.  You will be moving your legs more but expending less energy.  Again, think “short and quick, short and quick”.

Stay Straight and Look Ahead

Your running form on a hill should be the same as when you run the flats.   A bend at the ankles and a slight lean forward, keeping your body in a nice straight line.   If you catch yourself bending at the waist staring at the ground you are doing it wrong.     Check your form now and then and re-adjust as necessary.

These tips apply to walkers as well.  Adding hill repeats to running or walking increases your cardiovascular fitness and works your tush and thighs really well.  So practice these techniques and learn to love the hills!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

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Running Resources

I purchased a new pair of running shoes yesterday at Arch Rival in Greenbrae and discovered a local Marin-based running group run by Kees Tuinzing.  He’s a long time fixture in Marin running.

If anyone is interested in taking their running to the next level, check out this website for more information.   I’m going to try and check them out in August to see if  running with them will help fine tune my training and maybe help me get over my mental running block!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Good Luck to SF Runners!

The San Francisco Marathon and Half Marathon is this weekend so good luck to those tackling this fun race.  If you are toeing up to the starting line this weekend, here are 3 tips to make your race great!

  • Part of the beauty and splendor of racing in San Francisco are the views and hills.   While hills are pretty to look at they can be tough to run and trust me, there are hills aplenty in this course.  To get up a hill without killing yourself  shorten your stride and pump your arms and pitter patter to the top.  Some of the bigger hills come early in the race so pace yourself and run smart!
  • If you have a time goal, stick near a pace group to help keep you on track.  Pace group leaders work very hard to have you hit the finish line within 2 minutes of the pace goal.
  • Be patient with your race.  Start easy and build up to your race pace as you warm up.   Nerves and excitement lead many a runner out of the gate too fast.  While this won’t affect you as much for a 10K, it can be a disaster on a half or full marathon.  Settle down, let the rabbits pass you by because by mile 22 you’ll be the one doing the passing.

Good luck and have a great race.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Lightbulb Moments Don’t Happen Until the Lamp is Plugged In

Sometimes we get stuck.  Whether in our jobs, a relationship or unhealthy habits.  There is a lot of information out there to help one get un-stuck, there are entire sections at bookstores, tens of thousand avenues online or walls filled at the library devoted to becoming un-stuck.  While our resources are seemingly endless, it takes only one thing, one tiny step to be able to move forward towards a happier, healthier life.  That one thing, that one tiny step is within you.

You can spend hours surfing the web, reading one self-help book after another or watching re-runs of “The Secret” profiled on “Oprah” but until you are ready to make any changes, change won’t happen.  Let’s repeat that.   Until YOU are ready to make any changes it won’t happen.

Now there’s a lot to be said for “faking it til you make it” or “acting as if you are already the you, you want to be”.  Trust me, there is a lot to be said for that.  If you have done this and it’s not working and you are really ready to make changes it’s time to identify what what roadblocks may prevent you from reaching this goal.  Doing so ahead of time will probably be the most important step you can make.  Once you know what can trip you up, you can take steps to overcome it when it does.

Remember, you are the only one who can affect change in your life!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Tip of the Week

Here’s a fresh way to look at a problem.  Instead of  dreading a challenging task or situation, walk towards it with arms wide open and embrace it.   Be grateful you have the skills necessary to work through a problem, overcome an obstacle or complete that 3rd set of push ups.  Take a deep breath and as the phrase goes “get her done”.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Patience is a Virtue

I was not born with a lot of patience which surprisingly didn’t  cause me any problems until I had kids .  Being a parent with no patience is like mixing gasoline and a lit match.  Kaboom!

Training for marathons or any endurance event is similar.  You can’t rush through an 18-week marathon training plan.  You have to tackle each week a run at a time and each long run as scheduled.  I’ve read where some people can run a marathon without training for it but frankly those people are freaks.  Like supermodels, or parents that don’t yell at their kids.

The rest of us ‘normal people’ need to find a training plan down, follow it and have faith.  Even if your 12 mile run was horrendous and you can’t see how you’ll be able to run an additional 14.2 miles on race day you have to trust in the training and have some patience.  You’ll get there!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Complimentary Compliments

I saw a gal I hadn’t seen in a while.  She looked fantastic which I told her and asked what she’d been doing.  While my comment was completely sincere (she is looking fierce) here’s the question;  by complimenting someone on how good they look after a weight loss or a body improvement am I sending the underlying message that they looked bad before?

I was on the receiving end of that once after I lost the baby weight – it was a “you look sooooo much better ”  comment.  One of those backhanded compliments that sound nice at first but smack you across the face the minute the insult sinks in.  Now it was a true statement, I did look much better, but sometimes one should just make the compliment without the commentary.  So when I run into someone who has made such positive changes in their life I try and offer a truly sincere compliment and trust that they know it’s from the heart!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂