The best way to work hard

 

In this new section, named Running Tips, I will try to give various little suggestions for those who challenge themselves in running, for those who want to start or maybe have been running for a long time.
If you had ever thought that running was just those boring 5k around your house, you will discover new horizons.
Let’s start with a topic that every runner, except from me, really hate: hills.

The person who is writing was born and raised in Turin, is madly in love with the mountains and from a short time started to run up those mountains, do some race and maybe have the unfortunate idea to do some ultra-trail in preparation for his long cherished dream, the King of the trails, the Tor Des Geants (just to make everybody understand, it’s 330 km, 26.000 mt of altitude gap to complete in 150 hours).

 There are a lot of different type of uphill trainings, and everyone has its specific target:
– The training slow and constant at the beginning of the preparation and on long but not hard paths;
– The fartlek, where the slope increases and the run is varied from a slow to a fast rhythm, the progression one where on long hills the beginning is slow, the middle bit is faster and in the last bit you run at your race pace;
– The progression on long hills, where in the first third part you save the forces, push harder in the second, and in the last part you reach the race pace;
– The mix of on path and tarmac where you improve your technique and sensitivity on land changes;
– The mix of running and walking which is usually done when you run up a mountain;
– The training where you run up the same distance repeatedly and way faster than the race pace, pushing your body and your mind;
– The training where you run up steps to improve explosiveness, coordination and agility.

 When running you are alone with your body and your mind, there is no other mean to make the body move like in cycling or other sports, if you stop moving your legs you stand still.
During uphill trainings you train your body and your mind not to stop: you push yourself in a natural way and you go over even after exhaustion.
The climb allow us to reach and exceed the limits we believe are ours during every session, step by step.
Only running out all our energies, which is easy in an uphill training, and reaching a “sadness point”, paraphrasing the Doctor Costa, we are able to develop, for 5 or 7 seconds, a power level we had never reached.
The hills are a real gym for our body and our mind, and in these months we will learn how to deal with them and in the end, perhaps, love them.

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