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These two downhill workouts will make you stronger

Adding downhill workouts to your training will increase speed as well as strength

The warmer months are the perfect time to try some new terrain, whether that means signing up for a trail race or trying out a hilly road route. While you might remember to add uphill workouts into your routine, maximizing speed and skill on the downhill is often neglected. Here are two workouts to incorporate into your regular training that will prep you to tackle those downhills. You can run these sessions on trails, or make them work on city paths or sidewalks.

As you run downhill, try to land with your feet underneath you, and imagine that your arms and core are a source of stability. Running downhill takes some practice, so make sure to always maintain a pace that feels safe to you. Practice landing your feet gently and smoothly.

Downhill fartlek

Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning speed play. A fartlek training session involves running continuously, while increasing and decreasing speed and intensity.

Take this workout to a path or sidewalk that has some hills, along with some flatter sections.

Warm up with 15 minutes of easy running.

Turn the rest of your run into a fartlek by increasing your speed to race pace on each downhill. After you reach flatter ground, recover with easy running as necessary. Repeat on 4-10 hills throughout the run.

Cool down with 10-15 minutes of easy running.

Leg crushers

For this workout, find a fairly steep hill, but one that you can comfortably run down at a fast pace without losing control.

Warm up with 10-20 minutes of easy running.

Run up the hill at a very easy pace, for one to two minutes (depending on the size of your hill and your experience).

Passive rest (standing) for 30 to 60 seconds.

Run down the hill at a hard you feel comfortable, stopping at the bottom of the hill.

Passive rest for 30 to 60 seconds, repeat 5-10 times. If you’re new to downhill running, start with fewer repeats, and increase by one or two repeats weekly.

Cool down with 10-20 minutes of easy running.

You may be surprised to find that downhill running often will require more recovery time than an uphill workout, and you’ll certainly feel it after trying either of these workouts. Make sure to follow a downhill day with an easy running or rest day.