Training from the mile to the marathon.
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  • Why Run the Bridge?

    Posted on July 20th, 2010 CoachGreg 1 comment

    I was recently in the mountains of North Carolina. I was at an elevation of 3300 feet and while the weather was cool, I really didn’t appreciate running the hills. My runs started out going downhill on a very steep grade which meant I finished by going uphill on the same steep grades. That was tough but I can’t imagine how much tougher it would have been had I not been running the Cooper River Bridge on a regular basis.

    Charleston Runs athletes on the Cooper River Bridge.

    Charleston Runs athletes on the Cooper River Bridge.

    Charleston Runs athletes regularly run the Ravenel Bridge even when they’re not training for the Cooper River Bridge Run. As runners become more experienced, they tend to want to go faster. In order to run faster in a race, you need to run faster in training. There’s a running adage that says, “Speed is built on strength and strength is built on endurance.” In other words, build your endurance, then build your leg strength, and then finally work on speed.

    One of the best ways to build leg strength is through running hills. The closest thing to a hill that we have in Charleston is the Cooper River Bridge. In training for marathons, we run the bridge once every two weeks. This does two things for us.

    • We build leg strength. By running uphill we’re lifting our bodies vertically and then slowing the body as we run downhill.
    • We practice running hills. All of the Charleston Runs athletes are running marathons in other places where there are hills. There are techniques to running both uphill and downhill that will improve your times and keep you from thrashing your legs.

    You race like you train. What do you do to prepare to run hills or improve your leg strength?


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