Over the past few weeks as we’ve launched several new events in the Nordics, we’ve noticed that the overall profile of the course is often a hot topic of discussion! In other words, people seem a bit daunted if the route includes some “upwards flat sections”, also known as hills!
Sometimes there can be a misconception that parkrun is always going to be run on super fast, flat courses, whereas of course the reality is that parkruns around the world are as diverse and varied as the parkrunners themselves – from windy, hilly trail routes to pancake-flat asfalt routes with no bends to speak of.
At the top of the hill at Haga parkrun
So here are a few of our tips to get you thinking positively about hills and to learn to love a slope or two!
- If you find running up the hills to be too tough, then it is perfectly OK to walk, or just take a pause!
- Adjust your pace running up hills – shorten your stride a little and run more slowly. Remember that the most efficient way to run is to have an equal level of effort all the way around, not an equal pace.
- What goes up must come down! As far as we know, there is not a parkrun in the world that finishes higher up than where it started (although a couple, like Killerton parkrun in the UK, as I discovered this summer, actually have an elevation loss during the run; i.e. finish at a lower point than where they started). So think positively!
- Don’t forget to enjoy the view from the top! Amongst others Stavanger, Løvstien (Bergen), Brabrand and Haga parkruns have some amazing views when you reach the highest points on the course.
- Keep in mind that running up hills is a great way to build leg strength which gives you more of an all-round workout and helps to prevent injuries.
- If running fast if your thing, then the challenge is to try and run as fast as possible over that particular course. Once you’ve run there once, you will then have a PB to beat the next time! And you can also enjoy the competition of running against other runners too. If you try to run a personal best every single time you run then you will soon get demotivated when you don’t achieve this goal.
- And finally, remember that parkrun is chiefly about the taking part and making running fun, friendly and sociable. So go on, embrace those hills this Saturday!
parkrun Nordics Country Manager
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