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.

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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!

Hey, thanks for the response and tips. This training process, while increadibly challenging and rewarding can be a bit lonely at times. Unless I'm at a trail race, my trail runs are always remote and solo. It's difficult when the only perspective I have during these technical training runs is my own. I'd love to hear more tips/experience of fellow trail runners out there!

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.

Thanks!  It's weird and wonderful, I'm kind of in my own little world out there.  I get back and try to tell others about my adventures and I usually get puzzled looks....like why are you doing this?!    

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