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Here is what to do if you fear hills (hint: it has to do with mindset)

I read a quote about fear today from one of the daily newsletters I subscribe to.

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertrand Russell

This quote brought me back to a lesson I learned in my Cross Country days:

Around 12 years ago... our team boarded a bus and traveled a few hours east to compete on a course I had grown up running on.

All of my teammates were going to run this course for the first time, but I had run and walked this course at least one hundred times when I was younger.

It was a particularly hilly course that I hated every moment of my youth.

The memories of the course flooded back to me as we drove into the city and that caused me to open my mouth...

I began to tell everyone about how challenging the course was...and the hills to watch out for.

I thought I was "teaching."

My coaches immediately stopped me and told me to stop spreading fear.

I did stop as to not to anger my coaches, but I didn't really understand what they had meant.

I found out they were absolutely right later on that day.

My attention was especially focused on those hills.

It was easy to see who was full of fear and who was not, and you didn't have to look at the runner's face to see the fear, either.

You could see the fear in the way their bodies contorted to let every footfall gingerly touch the ground.

It was as if the runners were softly landing on the ground to not anger it.

At the crest of the hill, I saw the form of the runners transform back to typical strong & fast motions as they sped up on the downhill.

I saw the problem at that moment.

The problem was not the hill. It was their fear of the hill that made the experience cruel.

Ever since that day, I have changed my mindset.

Instead of talking up the hills to be larger than they really are, I speak about them as learning experiences.

Hills are opportunities to discover new running wisdom by studying them, sprinting them, and appreciating their unique challenges as you climb them.

And, that is what Russell meant in his quote.

Wisdom begins where fear ends.

If you want to learn about hills and your capability on them...

You would learn a lot by running with Stryd.

Stryd's power value will help you determine when you are over pacing hills early in the run and when you slack on them later in the run.

This will let you perfect your pacing, which is especially important during race scenarios and long runs where pacing makes a sizable difference in how you feel at the end of your run and how fast you are finishing.

You can get Stryd here: https://store.stryd.com

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Angus Nelson

Angus Nelson

Angus is a cofounder of Stryd. He has trained for and raced every distance from 50 meters to Half Ironman & is pushing the run power revolution forward!

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