Faster depending on direction around running route


I have recently got back into running after a break for two and a half years. Now very unfit and overweight but enjoying slowly improving.

As a creature of habit i run the same 5km route from my home a couple of times a week. It is a reasonably hilly route. I alternate which way around the loop i run to add some variety. Where I am unfit, i have to walk for around 2 minutes up a steep hill. What I find interesting is that it takes me about 29 minutes to run around the loop in one direction, but i am nearly 1.5 minutes faster in the other direction, despite normally needing to walk a little more in that faster direction! I wondered if anyone else ever found that they were faster in a certain direction around a route and whether it is linked to my lack of strength or fitness, or more linked to the profile of the route?




  • The profile of the route will have an effect. You'll be fresher at the start, so if you hit the up of a big hill early you'll be quicker with the down in the latter part of the run.

    Of course, if you hit a big uphill towards the end of the run you'll be more fatigued and find it harder.

    It's good you go both directions, keep going and it will get easier! 
  • CrippsoCrippso ✭✭✭
    thanks, that could explain it!
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    It could also be that the prevailing wind is behind you on an exposed section when running in one direction, but provides shelter when running into it in the other direction?
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    It could also be that you have one leg longer than the other (like a haggis) and therefore you're much better at running in one direction
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