Good at running up or Good at running down

I'm a fairly tall runner (6ft) & have noticed over the last 2 years of running that, going uphill I seem to pass quite a few shorter runners but on the downwards side of the hill I just can't go fast enough & am often overtaken by the same shorter runners.

Maybe I'm just crap at running down hill, or is it a centre of balance thing.

Are you tall, short good on the up &
slow on the down or visa versa.


  • 5ft 3" and definately better downhill......
  • 5ft 5ins and I'm a downhill flyer! Not good in the other direction.
  • 6ft , run badly uphills,badly downhills and badly on the flat.......

    On a serious note I pass loads on the way up and tend to hold my own (if you pardon the expression on the way down).
    I remember reading somewhere about centre of gravity in shorter vs taller runners (I think it is lower in shorter runners) which benefits taller athletes uphills and shorter ones downhill (I think).

    This could,of course, be bo**ocks.
  • I'm only 5'6", but don't have any problem uphill, pretty good downhill as well. I've always thought that it should be easier for us shorties to go up uphill because we don't have to cut our stride length much, but taller people would have to chop their stride down a lot more. Also the opposite should be the case going downhill, with the longer legs making it easier to stretch out. I'm sure there is someone out there who can give us the full medical facts.
  • 6Ft 1" and much better down than up. I always thought my stride length gave me an advantage on downhills.
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    5'1" but haven't noticed that I'm particularly impressive either up or down! Just tend to try to run evenly no matter whether going down or up ... prefer down, though - not so hard on the heart, lungs and legs!

  • I'm another tallish runner @ 6'1", and run (relatively) much quicker downhill than up - and I'm only 70 kilos! I think it's because most runners can't let themselves go downhill. The extra inches on the legs mean taller runners have more weight to lift with each stride uphill compared to the shorties, plus much heavier trainers due to their big feet. And you know what they say about big feet - it's a wonder I'm only 11 stone really!
  • I'm 5'8'', and find that I overtake people uphill, but mainly because I make the extra effort to stretch my longish legs and put in more speed. Downhill, I am quite careful not to exceed my pace, in case I go way too fast and get knackered.
  • Only 5'6 but seem to manage well both up and downhill. Have an easily adaptable stride, and so can adjust to shorter strides for uphill, and have quite a quick cadence so can run fast downhill without overstriding and losing balance.
    It has more to do with 'technique' than height, judging by the people of all sizes and stature that do the fell races up here...
  • I'm 5'3" and can run ok going up, but can run very strong going down. I normally find that men pass me going up and I then overtake them on the downs. This I put down to them having more powerful muscles and longer strides.
  • I am 5'8" and I find uphill is fine, I often catch runners here, but I lose out downhill very often.
  • I'm 6'3" and I'm definitely better uphill. I never feel I can let myself go downhill without losing control. I wonder if it's anything to do with cadence - speed you can turn your legs over. This would be better for shorter runners?

    Running uphill I try to lift my knees slightly higher to cut down on the amount the stride gets chopped by. I try to keep up a similar level as effort as running on the flat - if I try to keep up the same pace then i wear myself out!

  • I am 6'2" and have noted that in races I often get passed going uphill and then overtake those who have just passed me going down. I did the Meltham Maniac Mile a few times some years ago and just missed four and a half minutes - I couldn't get anywhere near that on the flat, let alone uphill!
  • as a rather too heavy ex-rugby player of c.6 ft you can probably guess that uphill is hard work, but downhill i go like a train

    on the flat it's hard work though!
  • Ah well, it looks like there is no pattern. I guess I'll just have to work on my downhill running technique.
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