Up & Down

Most cross-country courses have a certain ‘rolling’ nature and the difference between runners is usually most obvious on the ups and on the downs. This set is about developing the physical and psychological skills associated with uphill and downhill running simply by practicing.

The set itself is simple however care should be taken to find a location where you can achieve it. Find a hill that takes 1-2 minutes to run up and has a flat area at the top; because this is a cross-country set it should be done on grass.

To execute the set; run hard up the hill, run easy at the top of the hill in a loop that takes the same amount of time as the uphill run and leaves you back at the top of the hill, then run down the hill.

When running down the hill make sure to lift your feet high during the recovery phase (think high-heels/butt kicks type drill), lean forward to get as close to 90 degrees to the surface (and not gravity) as you can, put your arms out for stability if you need to and avoid at all costs striking the ground with a straight leg to try and slow down.

This set is based on one from Runners’ World.

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