When doing a surf cardio training, most people prefer an easy jog on the beach or on a treadmill over an uphill run. Why? Because it is more challenging and definitely tougher. However, that’s the main reason why running uphill makes you super-fit faster, and builds lean muscle that will make you stronger on land and in the surf.
It is also much less boring and saves you time doing endless “marathon-style” trainings. Here’s 5 reasons why you should give uphill running a chance and do at least a couple per week as a part of your surf fitness training:
1. You will burn more calories
When you run uphill, you activate 9% more muscle mass compared to running on flat ground – so you will also burn more energy. You will burn 4% extra energy for every 1% of hill incline. This makes the training more effective and helps you lose fat. If you prefer running on a treadmill, even a 5% incline will help you burn extra 100 calories.
2. You will strengthen your legs and glutes
As we mentioned above, you engage more muscles by running uphill and the challenge is harder than an easy flat ground jog. Your thighs and glutes will grow stronger, which will help you build a strong and balanced body, your bottom turns become more powerful and you will slice the walls with more power and stability than before.
3. It is better for your shin bone (tibia)
If your running technique is correct, you engage your hips more to spring off the ground. This results in less pressure on your shins.
4. You dramatically increase your stamina
Spend a few weeks doing challenging uphill runs, and you will be amazed how easy it is to run on a flat ground, or paddle endlessly in big waves. Start with a small incline and then find a steeper hill or gradually add a couple of % on your treadmill as you get fitter and stronger.
5. You become a faster runner
It might not be needed when you surf, but who does not like a strong, fast body of a sprinter. Running uphill is a quality aerobic activity that will make you faster on a flat surface. Add short, high-intensity uphill sprints to your surf fitness training on a regular basis.
So next time you see a hill, run to the top! Even the following run downhill will give you heaps of benefits. You will engage your core muscles and quads. If you really want to make the most of your cardio training, do incline running a couple of times a week.
What you can expect is a better posture, stronger legs, great stamina and less rest needed between the waves.
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