Ask Hank: Downhill at the wrong time

Dear Hank,

I parked today at the top of a valley and ran down one mountain and then back up another to return to the parking lot. Normally I have a strict policy that I park at the bottom of the mountain so I run all my uphill first and can enjoy the way down once I’m tired, but I made a mistake.

Do you have any tips on how to run significant stretches of uphill at the end of a run without getting completely exhausted?

Uphill both ways,

Julie Andrews


Dear Julie Andrews,

First of all, never run uphill both ways. Just as like, a life rule. If you do, you’ll find it’s exceedingly hard to get back down to your car.

Another thing that helps when running quickly uphill while you’re exhausted is singing embarrassing songs (think children’s campfire songs, or Brittney Spears, or perhaps even some Taylor Swift) at the top of your lungs. This may not seem like it will have much of an impact but if you think about it, your breath will be interrupting your singing, so your “Oops I did it again” will be filled with gaps, halts, and breathing breaks. It will be even more embarrassing than just being a bad singer.

People on the trail will start to take notice of you, start to stare, and they will think, “Who is this person? Are they out of their minds?”

That is, they will think this unless you’re running really fast. So your singing (making yourself look foolish) will cause you to be motivated to move even faster (so as to not look foolish).

Don’t think. Just do.


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