progresser en montée

How to run uphill

When running in the countryside with elevation gains (ascents), running technique is a key factor in making progress. Indeed, it is a pity to have to slow down significantly because you are a little unsure about some relatively simple techniques.


Why do you need to be proficient in running uphill?

First of all, when you are climbing a slope, it is better to slow down because, going uphill, the heart rate increases rapidly, even when you are running at a relatively slow pace. It is more efficient to remain relatively comfortable rather than making things difficult for yourself because the ascent is often followed by a flat section or a descent where you can accelerate. You will be able to do this much more quickly if you have kept something in reserve on the uphill section.Feeling fresh must always remain a priority!

For countryside runs, there are many different types of slope: long climbs or false-flats, short albeit very steep ascents, challenging slopes with obstacles or tree roots, etc. These are just some of the different types of climb, each of which will not necessarily require the same technique to increase your speed. It's up to you to adjust your pace and your stride to the terrain you are covering.


How do you climb a slope as quickly as possible?

When faced with a slope, the challenge is simple: how can you conserve energy and climb more quickly, both at the same time?

When you are at the bottom of the slope, before thinking about which technique you should adopt, the first thing is not to try to use your momentum to get over the first few metres more easily. This would be a mistake because you need to adjust your stride as soon as you get onto the slope in order to adopt the right pace. Then, the most effective technique is to considerably reduce the amplitude of your stride, in other words,you need to shorten it! Short steps will be the best solution for running more efficiently without tiring yourself out too much. What are the advantages of this type of stride? More energy, more drive, more power and, above all, it is more efficient.

You can use of the pendulum effect of your arms to propel you forwards.Give yourself an added boost by leaning your upper body forwards slightly (a posture that is relatively instinctive).

Finally, rather than looking down at your feet, try to keep your eyes 4 or 5 strides ahead in order to make the gradient seem more gentle. Don't hesitate to go around major obstacles even if this will extend the route, given that the ideal route is not necessarily the shortest on a trail run.


Walk in order to run better

Fast walking can also be a very effective tool in tackling elevation gains.If the slope is short but very steep, you can help yourself by placing your hand above your knee and opening up your stance by pointing your foot outwards ("splay-footed").Be careful when using this technique because it compresses the rib cage slightly.That's why it should only be used for short periods of exertion.

Conversely, if the ascent time is long, or even very long, e.g. on a long-distance trail run, it is better to walk normally.This is the type of exercise where using poles comes in very useful:you can use them either by alternating one pole after the other, as you stride forwards or, on slopes with a lower gradient, by planting both poles in front of you at the same time to propel yourself forwards more easily using arm strength.

In any case, switching from a running pace to a walking pace must be the result of a deliberate decision and not because you have no other choice: walking because you are no longer capable of running can be a real let-down.On the contrary, it must be part of a personal strategy aimed at conserving energy so that you can accelerate better later on.

Finally, as the gradient evens out, allow a few metres before returning to your running pace so that you can re-adapt to the race, i.e. take small steps and gradually increase the stride length and frequency.


By following this advice, you will save precious time on your objective, without necessarily running more quickly.If, at the same time, you are undergoing a targeted preparation focused on your own potential, you should be able to topple mountains, or more precisely, get over them!