Thursday, October 25, 2012

Walking Hills

This gruff billy goat doesn't have the endurance he once had to float uphill. These days, whenever an incline presents itself, walking it is the response.

You hear from trail runners and ultra-marathoners that walking hills doesn't really slow you down much, but it saves huge amounts of energy. The energy thing seems reasonable, but the not slowing you down part has always been harder to swallow.

Yesterday's run with Martini helped prove the theory correct. 

He took my request to run three to four miles as we're doing five miles. We met at Sand Run and ran the parcours and then took the connector path to the Schumacher Trail.

Only we didn't take the main path. Instead Martini led me up a neverending hill that skirted Valley View golf course and deposited us on Cuyahoga Street, which we then took up to the Schumacher parking area.

This particular section of road is rather fun to drive because of its hilly and winding ways. Running it? Less fun.

But back to the neverending hill. The parcours terrain and Martini's "slow" speed had already zapped my legs. Once we hit that long incline, it was time to walk. Martini kept running, but he didn't pull too far away from me. By the time we got to the Cuyahoga Street, I was able to run up that hilly and winding road.

So, yeah, walking hills: it works.


Jess said...

I onve overheard someone say during a race, as we were running uphill, "For every uphill, there's a downhill," so yeah, for every difficult part of a run, there's the opportunity for an easy part. So, it balances out.

Jess said...

That was supposed to be "once."

Nitmos said...

I can say that, at DwD a few weeks back, I walked a few of the tough, steep trail inclines and actually gained ground on a few folks who were "running" it. Took larger steps, spotted better footing, pulled myself up with nearby branches, etc. So, yeah, I guess, depending on the hill grade, I can buy that it is sometimes better to walk.

David said...

I frequently walk the steeps of long trail runs. There's no training benefit from getting anerobic early in the run and you can hurt your aerobic training later in the run (too fatigued) from running hard early. And working on a "power hiking" stride up a hill has its own training value.

Walk proudly.

B. Jarosz said...

As someone who is both an avid runner and an avid hiker, I've never really understood why runners dis walking?

I mean... I'm not going to walk if I'm racing a flat 5k, but in a trail race? Walking can be a prudent choice (slippery footing, energy conservation, etc...)