"Try to land with your feet underneath you," Hinton says. This helps to minimize the shock that can be produced by overstriding. "As you speed up, think quicker turnover, rather than longer stride."
As you coast down the hill, let gravity work its magic.
"Think of it as controlled falling," Hinton says.
Runners should feel as though they're moving at a faster rate, but remaining smooth and in control of their limbs. Hinton also suggests staying perpendicular to the ground by leaning forward slightly. This eliminates the chance of leaning back and braking, which will fatigue your quads and slow you down.
As you run downhill, think of your arms as a source of balance and control.
"Keep your shoulders loose and allow your arms and elbows to flare out some," Hinton says. "Don't worry about pumping them."
Using your arms as a tool for balance, you should be able to stride down the hill effortlessly, landing lightly with each step.
Downhill Workout Tips
Downhill running can jar your bones, muscles and connective tissues, so it's important to ease into these workouts. While your cardiovascular system won't be taxed in the same way as uphill running, the pounding can take a toll.
"Start with a modest grade on a soft surface," Hinton says. "Work your way up to steeper hills slowly."
The next time you're looking to try something new, check out one of Hinton's downhill workouts:
1. Downhill Strides: Locate a gently sloping hill with 2-to 3-percent incline grade. A hill with a soft surface, like a golf course, is ideal. After a 15-minute warm-up, complete between four and 10 accelerations down the hill. Walk or jog back up for recovery.
2. Downhill Fartlek: Choose one run out of your regular weekly training routine that has some hilly terrain. Transform it into a Fartlek workout by picking up your speed to race pace on each downhill. After you reach flatter ground, recover as necessary. Repeat on 4 to 10 hills throughout the training run.
3. Downers: Warm up with a 15-minute easy run. Locate a soft, flat stretch that is followed by a downhill. Run for about 30 seconds on the flat terrain and another 20 to 30 seconds on the downhill. Start at a 5K- or 10K-race pace and ramp up your speed as you go downhill. Jog back up the hill for recovery. Repeat 4 to 10 times.
4. Race Simulation: If you are preparing for a hilly race, consider mimicking the race in training by running a course that has similar terrain. Or if it's a local race, make sure to complete at least one training workout on that course. Your mind and body will be better prepared to tackle hills on race day.Search for a race.