As the Mount Panorama Punish is a race that requires strength to get up and down the climbs, preparation should include hill training consistently throughout. Hill work is often referred to as “speed training in disguise” as it allows runners to build anaerobic conditioning without the risk of running at speed.

For the punish, runners need to be mindful that hills aren’t like your typical road race, they are long, steep and have both a big gradient and length to overcome. It is also just as important to practice going down so in this tip I will look at 3 focuses for both climbing and descending that will help you in any hilly race, not just the punish.

Uphill Tips ↗️

🏁 Focus on form, staying in control of your form will ensure you remain efficient and are applying force effectively. Forms points include activated glutes, driving through knees, smaller steps and a strong slight lean into the hill.

🏁 Keep your cadence high, making sure you adjust your stride length so that it stays as close to the 180 as possible. Ensuring your cadence is consistent and steady will ensure you stay on track and are more likely to succeed with next tip.

🏁 Look at execution above your effort, this will ensure that you do not push too hard too early and that you arrive at the top able to run through and continue on with your run.

Downhill Tips ↘️

🏁 Relax, as you descend any hill being able to remain calm will ensure you are in control and able to flow down the hill with speed. The more relaxed your muscles are the more they will work the way you want them to.

🏁 Pick a line, one that allows you to feel natural and open up with speed and effort as required. Selecting the best line will ensure that you are thinking ahead and being mindful of the best path from the top to the bottom.

🏁 Use your arms, utilizing your arms to assist with the downs will keep you balanced and assist you picking the right line while staying stable and in control. The steeper the downhill the more you will spread your arms giving you that extra balance that will help as you turn up the pace.

Another question you may ask is how often should I run hills? The answer is often. I include hill work in almost every week of every phase of training to ensure that strength and conditioning are being developed. Hills allow you to improve on your overall running technique and assist with the fitness required in almost every race or distance. I would run a specific hill work session each week with duration being from as little as 15sec through to 4/5min per rep and effort sitting on that aerobic threshold at around 75/80%. Additionally, I would look at adding hills into my long run or another weekly run with the focus being on ensuring I execute the tips above effectively building my muscle memory in the process.

The next training tip will be focusing on Building My Performance, in the mean time you can continue with your Punish focused training with RUN RIOT. If you would like support on how to stay active please let me know. I offer a range of online coaching options so please do not hesitate in emailing me for further info.



~ Coach Wes