Today's agenda for this flat-lander preparing for Leadville was to work on downhill running. Not as easy as one might think! I have a love-hate relationship with the Ouachita Mts in SE Oklahoma. They are lush, beautiful...but reaaallly damn rocky and technical. Learning to keep my feet under me and maintain a controlled yet relaxed downhill runI am finding is quite difficult. Frustrated with my slow decent and multiple toe stumps and falls today. I am learning though. No IT band pain, much less quad soreness makes me think I may be improving. I just wish the speed were there. Funny, I tried to take a nap after my 17 mile adventure up and down and up and down and all I could see when I closed my eyes were rocks and roots and the feeling of bouncing off sides of trails, wobbling rocks, quivering quads. I've got a lot of work left and little time.
I have a similar relationship, but I'm improving with practice (both learning to run downhill and fall). I believe I've had a conservative attitude, not wanting to get injured and not being able to continue. This has definitely held me back.
I've been working on form, running steep descents on pavement. I know in the past I've 'braked' downhill by heel striking, which killed my quads after a while. I'm learning to trust my balance, lean forward and feel that I'm mid/fore foot striking. I also concentrate on feeling the knee drive, which I believes gets my feet off the ground resulting in more clearance under my feet. Lastly, I make sure I do this on tired legs.
And like you're doing I've been hitting the downhill trails. When I do fall I try to spread out the impact (learning this from my son's Taekwondo class...they teach them how to fall so not to break arms or separate shoulders).
Good luck and I wish you all the best in your training for Leadville!!!
Thanks! I tried to reply and ended up replying to myself. See blow. Such a goob!
Hang in there! You aren't alone- there are others doing the same thing you are, just not where you are at. I can't give you any tips, just encouragement.