The "Swiss Miss" shares her secrets for speedy descents.
In this week’s training video one of the best XTERRA runners of all-time, the “Swiss Miss” Renata Bucher, demonstrates downhill drills that can be done with or without a mini band and shares her secrets for speedy descents.
“Running downhill is all about high cadence, leaning forward, soft landings, and quick steps,” said Bucher, who won 33 XTERRA World Tour majors in her illustrious career before taking over as an XTERRA Coach and Asia-Pacific Tour technical director.
“Even just one downhill workout once or twice a month will allow your body to adapt to the stresses of those eccentric contractions and teach your body more efficient muscle recruitment, which will cause less connective tissue and muscle damage,” she explains.
Downhill Drills Program
- Warm up with side steps, keep the mini band tight, feet in the same direction, knees out (2 sets of 20 steps right – 20 steps left).
- Walk for 1 min.
- Jump from the bench, soft landing, hold 1 second and go again, no need to go deeper than 90 degree (10 reps).
- Walk for 1 min.
- Downhill trail running using quick steps (high turnover of 180 steps per minute, or three steps every second), look ahead, soft landing, RUN WITHOUT FEAR, very easy run back up the hill.
- Arm swings, keep your feet low and get a big arm swing – swinging your fist right back behind your hip, arms and elbows close to the sides of your body. This is a great way to pick up speed without pushing harder through the legs = FREE SPEED.
- Arms behind your back, balance drill, encaging your core, fully focus on landing. Drill quick cadence including a short stair: GOAL = faster turnover. Tip: Pretend that the ground is hot like fire.
- Quick steps down the stairs and keep fast feet for 20-30m
- Easy run back up
(Do these three drills two or three times each, about 30-40 minutes)