Flat Running Is Better Than Uphill Running?
The first thing to say is that flat running is better than uphill running. There are many reasons why this is true:
1) Flat surfaces are easier to run on.
This means your legs don’t have to work as hard and so they recover faster. Your body doesn’t need to expend energy just because it’s not working as hard, which helps you get back into the game quicker.
2) You’re less likely to injure yourself if you fall down a steep slope.
If you were injured doing an uphill run, then falling down a hill might cause pain and damage. This is especially true when running downhill.
3) Flat terrain provides more room for recovery between efforts.
When you go up or down a hill, your heart rate increases and your breathing gets deeper and heavier. These changes increase fatigue. By contrast, when you run flat out, your heart rate stays low and your breathing becomes lighter. This reduces fatigue.
4) Flat terrain allows you to train at a slower pace.
For example, if you want to improve your time for a race, then going up or down a hill isn’t ideal since it takes longer for your body to recover from each effort and you end up burning more calories during the workout than if you were training on flat ground.
What should I look out for when running on hills?
1) Always warm up first.
2) Watch out for other people, animals or objects that may be in the area.
3) Wear the proper running gear and dress for the weather.
4) Listen to your body and don’t overdo it.
Slow down or stop if you feel any pain or dizziness.
The Stairs Running Debate
People have been arguing about whether or not stairs are good or bad for your health for many years. Stair runners often claim that running up stairs is extremely good exercise because it works several large muscle groups in your legs as well as several smaller groups throughout the rest of your body. On the other hand, people who don’t run stairs say that it is dangerous and that you are more likely to fall and injure yourself.
What is the truth?
Stairs running pros:
1) Stairs running is very effective for weight loss.
If you run up stairs as fast as you can, then you will quickly find yourself out of breath and steadily working your large leg muscles. It only takes about 15 minutes to work up a good sweat!
2) Running up stairs is an excellent cardiovascular workout because it increases your heart rate and respiration.
3) Even though every step you climb is considered “easy” on the impact scale, running up stairs is still very taxing on your body.
4) Running up stairs increases your ankle strength and improves your agility.
Stairs running cons:
1) There is a risk of falling and getting hurt.
If you trip and fall down the stairs, you can get seriously injured.
2) Running up stairs is a high impact activity.
If you have weak or injured knees, then you should probably avoid this kind of activity or at least do it very rarely and with care.
3) Running up stairs is more likely to cause shin splints, stress fractures and other bone injuries because you are constantly pounding your feet on the hard stairs.
4) It can be more difficult to run up stairs when you are out of shape.
The first time you try running up stairs, you may feel very tired after only a few flights. As your fitness level increases, so will your stamina and ability to run up and down stairs.
What are the Benefits of Stairs Running?
1) Weight loss: Like running uphill, running up stairs is great for weight loss because it is such an intensive activity that can be performed any time of day or night.
2) It is convenient: you can perform stairs running in any location, such as your home, office building or any public stairs.
3) You can do it alone: unlike running outdoors where you need to worry about safety, with stairs running you can do it on your own time without the help of anyone else.
4) No special equipment is needed.
You don’t need anything except the stairs.
What are the Disadvantages of Stairs Running?
1) Falls and injuries: Falls are always a risk whenever you run near stairs or even when you are running on the steps themselves.
If you fall and you happen to land on the side or on your head, then there is a higher chance that you can get seriously hurt.
2) It is more difficult to run up and down stairs when you are in poor physical condition.
Sources & references used in this article:
Glycogen utilization in leg muscles of men during level and uphill running by DL Gostill, E Jansson, PD Gollnick… – Acta Physiologica …, 1974 – Wiley Online Library
Differences in horizontal vs. uphill running performance in male and female Swiss world-class orienteers by S Lauenstein, JP Wehrlin, B Marti – The Journal of Strength & …, 2013 – journals.lww.com
Sprint running: a new energetic approach by PE Di Prampero, S Fusi, L Sepulcri… – Journal of …, 2005 – jeb.biologists.org