The most common mistake runners make in running down hills is not maintaining proper running form. Many runners want to lean back like they are putting on the brakes. While others will lean too far forward heading down the hill. Leaning too far into the downhill can cause you to lose balance and can actually cause you to fall.
You want to basically run down hills as if you were running on flat ground. Lean slightly forward – keep your shoulders just a little in front of you and your hips under you. Just make sure that you are not hunching over – which can also hamper your breathing.
Also, make sure you are keeping your eyes forward – and directly on the ground in front of you. This is important on all levels and terrain – but especially on the down hills. If you are looking at your feet you will also have trouble maintaining balance.
Make sure that you are not overstriding. Many runners want to take too large a stride and pound down hills. You don’t want to cause your quads to take more of a pounding than necessary. You want to keep nice short, quick strides. This will make you have a quickly stride turnover and get you down the hill efficiently.
Many runners also lose control of their arms and let them fling wildly as they go down a hill. You want to keep your arms close to you and let your arms swing just a little lower. As you want to keep your body controlled – it is important to keep control of your arms, also.
Running hills is a great way to become a stronger runner – but many runners fear them. But, there is no need to. Remember that gravity is your friend. Gravity is helping to pull you down the hill – so use it to your advantage. Hopefully these tips will help you to feel more comfortable when you are coming back down the hills.