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Training Tips

Tips on Hill Training

Mr. Chan Ka Ho - Winner of Men's 10km Challenge of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2012

There are uphill and downhill elements along the routes of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon races. Whether you are a beginner runner or an advanced runner, uphill and downhill training is essential if you want to enhance your performance. Runners are advised to have a hill training session in their training plan once a week, or to at least incorporate hill training in their distance training.  Mui Tsz Lam in Sha Tin or Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui are some of the suggested hill training locations.

Uphill and Downhill Training

Runners may choose a slope of around 200 to 300 meters long. Beginners may run uphill with a speed slightly faster than jogging, followed by a slow jog or walk downhill, and repeat 5-6 times. After three to four weeks of training, you may try to increase your uphill speed. Advanced runners also may run uphill with 80% of their full speed, or simply dash with full speed and then jog downhill to relax; this should be repeated 6-8 times. For runners who mostly train indoor, set your treadmill for alternative training of two minutes level track training and two minutes uphill training with a suggested slope of 2-3 degrees. Regardless of training indoor or outdoor, remember to warm up enough before training followed by increasing your running speed gradually. It is advised not to choose routes with slopes of steep gradient to avoid injuries.

Running Form for Hill Training

It is important to pay attention to your running form while running up and down slopes. In uphill training, try to run with a higher speed and lean slightly forward to maintain balance. Beginners could start with shorter strides, run with a higher frequency and followed by increasing the distance of strides gradually. It is suggested to jog or walk downhill but to lean or sit backwards and allow your whole feet touch the ground. Beginners should choose trainers with better cushioning in order to protect their feet.

It is a normal phenomenon to endure leg muscle pain after training. If the pain continues after training or becomes more intense, runners should reduce the intensity of their training or switch back to their original training plan to avoid injury due to overtraining.