#5: Top 5 Runners’ Cliches That Are Wrong

When running downhill, just “fall forward.”  False!

I usually hear this from triathlon coaches, who are, to their credit, trying to help their athletes conserve energy, after expending all of that energy on the swim and bike before getting to the run.  The fact is, however, that falling forward or leaning forward when running downhill puts tremendous pressure on your knees and lower back.  How many times have you run downhill and then, the next day, or two or three days later, felt sore in the lower front part of your knees?  So, the question, then, is, “How do you run downhill?”

The best way to run downhill is to lean backward a bit, so that you’re running straight up and down, keep your legs bent, and lower your arms.  Finally, try to contract your core muscles, almost like you’re starting to do a reverse crunch.  You want to keep your center of gravity lower, and, by bending your knees and kind of leaning backward a bit, and engaging your abs, you’re shifting the pounding from your knees and lower back to your quads and lower core.  Not only will this keep you from having sore knees and possibly a sore back the next day, but you can also run faster, as it allows your turnover to speed up, and you can just let your legs go!

I hope you enjoyed this rant!

Austin, Texas

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