How to Avoid Injuries When Running Uphill

Uphill running is great for gaining strength and endurance, but running uphill improperly will cause injuries. During uphill running, landing on the forefoot is easier on the body than landing on the heel.

Uphill running is challenging for heel strike runners because they overstride which requires more strength and power to overcome sudden deceleration and impact transients that occurs at each step. However, this is not so in forefoot running.

Avoid Injuries When Running Uphill

How to Avoid Injuries During Uphill Running

Forefoot running makes uphill running safer than heel strike running because it dramatically reduces braking by increasing frontal plane foot placements, which in turn decreases stride length and increases stride frequency.

To achieve a frontal plane foot placement, the runner must make sure their feet land directly under the body, rather than ahead of it as in heel strike running. Below depicts a better example:

Uphill Running - How to do is Safely
A foot strike that lands within the frontal plane means the feet are landing directly under the hip and not out in front as in heel strike running, where foot strike position occurs out of the frontal plane.

Overall, a frontal plane foot placement allows the feet to remain closer to the mass of the body, helping deflect impact forces. This can be achieved by NOT reaching out with your legs at each step, rather letting your foot drop under you and feel your left foot landing directly under your left hip and feel your right foot land directly under your right hip..and you are good to go!

Hope this helps!

More For You at Run Forefoot:

Heel Strike vs Forefoot Strike – Read an engineer’s perspective on the difference between the two styles of running.

Cadence – Understand how to develop higher cadence and why this is important to forefoot running.

Go Barefoot More – Find out how to regain your ability to run without injury.

Minimalist Shoes – Read my reviews on the barefoot style running shoes that makes it possible to improve leg strength and forefoot running form.

Foot Nerves – Learn how the nerves in the feet are important in coorindating lower leg movements during running.

Shorter Strides – Find out how taking smaller steps when running prevents knee and hip conditions.

Inov-8 Bare-XF – Here is a great forefoot running shoe that is durable for obstacle course races.

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!

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