National level cross country runner Hugh Williams gives some advice to how to conquer the Nail Can Hill fun run

Focus on the ground three to five metres in front of you.

WITH the Nail Can Hill Run only a few short weeks away, here are a few last-minute tips from Flex Out Physiotherapist and elite national level cross country runnerHugh Williams.

Hugh has plenty of hill running expertise and will compete for the first time in the NCHR as part of his rehabilitation from a serious pelvic stress fracture sustained late last year.

TIP 1: When running uphill, increase your cadence slightly (smaller/ shorter steps), lift your knees slightly higher than normal and stand up tall.

You can lean in very slightly from the hips, but make sure you are not hunched over.

Leaning too far forward will negatively impacts your uphill running ability.

TIP 2: Don't approach the hill too aggressively, otherwise you may be forced to walk.

Relax your upper body and start the hill at a strong but controlled pace. It is normal to be puffing on steep hills, but be aware of your breathing and ensure that you aren't gasping and wheezing.

TIP 3: When running downhill ensure you don't have too much backward lean.

Leaning back throws your centre of gravity out and forces your foot to strike the ground more towards your heel.

This magnifies the braking forces which are already at play and negates the "free" increase in running speed on offer from gravity.

TIP 4: Focus on the ground three to five metres in front of you.

This will help you stay mentally focused on the hill, whether up or down!

TIP 5: Don't think about the whole hill.

Break it into segments and focus on getting to the next landmark.

TIP 6: Consider a recovery run or cross training session on Monday.

This will allow your muscles to recover and hastens the removal of waste products that cause soreness.

If you have completed the full Nail Can Hill Run, a three to five kilometre run slower than your usual pace is recommended.

Meanwhile, the sixth annual Milk Run is on again at the Huon Reserve on Sunday, April 30.

Runners, walkers and stroller can take the 10km or 6km options along the Rail Trail over the Sandy Creek Bridge starting at the picturesque Huon Reserve.

Entry is $15 per person or $30 for families.

Registration is from 8.30am, or book early online at www.trybooking.com/OUIJ.

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