Running tips from running coach Maggie MacGill

I will be tackling the Nail Can trail for the first time this year. It is always exciting to do a new run, especially one as challenging as Nail Can.

To tell you the truth, I am feeling a little intimidated because I have had a heavy coaching load lately and have not been able to train effectively for the event. This means I will be relying on good technique to get me through the run!

With good running form you can achieve more with less effort. Good form will also reduce muscular tension and improve your running performance.

Here are my top three hill running tips.

  1. On both up hills and down hills it is critical to maintain good postural alignment. As you run. Engage your low abdominal muscles. Lift through the crown of your head. Maintain your steady forward gaze, like that of a cheetah, calmly focused on its prey.
  2. On the steep uphills you can use your upper body as much as your legs. Take smaller steps and consciously relax your leg muscles. Engage your core and swing your arms up into the hill. Imagine your arms pulling you up the hill and gently lean into the hill.
  3. As you run down hill make it as smooth as you can by softening your knees to keep your feet underneath you. Engage your core and swing your arms rearward. Stay present and allow the hill to take care of your forward momentum.

At any point in the run it is wise to avoid pushing too hard and overwhelming your system – this will lead to greater fatigue later in the run. Break up the intensity with micro walk breaks. Take in the scenery, smile at your fellow runners and above all else have as much fun as you can!

Know that there is carnival waiting for you at the end of the race. Look forward to celebrating with your fellow runners. Visit the team of experts inside (myself included) ready to help you relax and recharge.

Maggie MacGill – 2019