Anonymous asked in SportsRunning · 7 months ago

Why do half of people think that running downhill is tougher?

50 percent of people think that running downhill is tougher than uphill and 50 percent think that running uphill is tougher. I think that running uphill is tougher. I don’t understand how someone could think that running downhill is tougher... do they lack balance while I must lack strength in my legs?

5 Answers

  • 7 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    You get a gravity boost from running downhill, so can go faster. But, landing force is greater. That is, running downhill has higher impact than running on level ground. This means more stress on the bones and joints.

    If the hill is steep, running downhill is an eccentric exercise for some of our muscles, such as the quads. In eccentric exercise, a muscle lengthens, but lengthens while resisting lengthening tension.

    To help make that clear, let's say you are doing bicep curls. Keeping your upper arms in position, you raise and lower weights using your forearms. Your biceps contract to raise the weights. But, when you lower the weights, you don't just let them fall. You lower them slowly. When you lower the weights, your biceps are lengthening, but at the same time, they are preventing the weights from falling quickly. Lowering the weights is a type of eccentric exercise.

    Try having some runners go up a long, steep hill, and other runners go down the same hill. If they are not trained for long, steep hills, both will hurt. But, if the down hill runners ran hard, they will hurt more.

    • Jogger2425
      Lv 6
      7 months agoReport

      Boston Marathon begins with a downhill. A lot of participants fly down the hill, thinking "time in the bank." But, when they have to go up Heartbreak Hill near mile 20, they pay the price for the fast downhill.

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  • 7 months ago

    For my I’m scared to go so fast and loose control but that’s only for REALLY steep hills. I’ve never heard people being scared but maybe they don’t go as fast as they can because their afraid to loose their pace??? My best guess

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  • 7 months ago

    Its not harder but it beats up your joints.

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  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    Running down hill is hard definitely, you can lose control of your legs quickly and fall. I can’t run down most hills, I lose control and go too fast.

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  • .
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    For me downhill is tougher because it's rough on my knees (and I have one that's unstable). It takes more strength for me to run uphill, but I don't have to be careful and watch my pace and balance and fear tweaking my knee, like I do when going downhill.

    Uphill works your buns. Downhill can be a big strain on your knees (especially if it's not a gradual decline).

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