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To ease the descent remember, even though the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, it is often smoother to maintain speed by entering and exiting curves at broad tangents and cutting as close as possible to the inside of the turn, like bike racers rounding corners.

This technique avoids the need to make major pace adjustments on the descent. With a background in Alpine ski and mountain bike racing, Ricklefs learned that the key to quick descents was anticipation.

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He recommends focusing more on the big picture than on the details so that you are scanning the upcoming trail and terrain rather than getting bogged down over where you will be placing your next step. Like slalom ski racers who adjust their body positions well ahead of each gate, trail runners who look ahead "set up" for turns and finesse large obstacles by shifting their weight, adjusting their gait, timing their steps and avoiding sudden changes in direction or speed, decreasing the stress of running downhill and creating a more efficient, fluid and rapid descent.

If you can hear yourself thundering down the trail, that sound is likely to translate to a sore back, quadriceps and possible damage to your knees.

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Your rhythm should be steady while flexible enough that you can alter it if you need to leap a trail obstacle or skip a half step to avoid some bad footing. It is best to jump over fallen trees, unsteady rocks or other obstacles than to step on them. By employing many little steps, you will be better able to make minor directional adjustments and control your speed.

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Trail secrets: how to run downhill

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To accept cookies from this site, please click the Allow button. Yes, some people go so tentatively downhill. They usually all catch me up at the next uphill though lol. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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Do not land with straight legs. This could be damaging as the pressure on your knee joints is increased so always try to have a slight bend which should assist your descent and overall downhill springiness technical term. Do not land with the heel first.

Uphill and Downhill Running Form: Tips and Techniques

Tempting as it maybe to stomp your way down the hill with a huge heel-strike this is actually like putting the brakes on with each step, instead practice a forefoot landing and keep the legs spinning like a windmill as you go to maintain speed. Do not be too tentative. A little faith and trust in your feet and where to place them will see your downhill confidence grow.