As most of you know from experience, incline running is a lot harder than running on a flat surface.

For one, hill running increases oxygen consumption considerably.  (I’m sure you’ve discovered this as you are huffing and puffing uncontrollably on your way to the top.)
How much more?  “An athlete running at an easy 10 min/mile pace has an estimated oxygen consumption of 36 mlO2/kg/min, where running the same speed on a 10% grade (a grade of 100% = 45 degree angle) increases oxygen consumption to 50 mlO2/kg/min. That’s almost a 40% increase in energy expenditure!”

Running on a flat surface, requires energy for horizontal work. The extra energy needed to lift the body vertically against gravity accounts for this extra energy expenditure.

Now moving on to the locomotive muscles, the change in slope puts the foot into severe dorsiflexion,

stressing the gastrocnemius, soleus, (calf muscles) and plantar fascia (sole of foot). The trunk also leans forward, placing more stress on the hamstrings, glutes and back extensors.

And that’s only when going up.  Going down is another story…
Running downhill would seem easier, but it requires control.  Your muscles are working eccentrically (the muscles are developing tension and lengthening at the same time) during the “braking” action by the anterior tibialis (shin muscles) on the lower leg, and the quadriceps on the thigh.  Eccentric muscle actions cause muscle damage and are the cause of post exercise muscle soreness, a.k.a. that bittersweet pain we crave after each workout.

So there you have it.

And on that note, we will visit our beautiful Key Biscayne bridge this Saturday, Jan 19 to better understand these scientific findings, lol!!

P.S. Get those banquet tickets!


To purchase online, CLICK HERE

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