Downhill running tips by two-time South African Trail Running Champion Thabang Madiba.
Cradle Mayhem 2012, the stage runners started about an hour before the day runners on the Sunday and at about the 12km mark on quite a steep and technical descent (after the Pofadder climb) I heard something behind me, around 800 meters away I saw Thabang Madiba coming down the trail with speed, and when I say speed… I mean REALLY FAST! I decided to stop (to catch a breath) and watch Thabang run / fly down the technical descent… his speed and focus was amazing. I just stood in awe.
If you’ve had the privilege of seeing trail running star Thabang Madiba scramble down a technical descent then you will appreciate his pure skill, athletic ability and complete fearless approach. The man is scary fast.
To be able to fly on a downhill run you need strong quads, calves, lower back but the most important of all, a strong mindset. Fear is not an option.
Thabang’s approach to running downhill is simple:
- FOCUS. Downhill running requires focus. Be aware of where your foot lands and where your next step will be.
- BALANCE. Quick short steps. Open your arms for balance. You must feel free like a bird.
- HEART. Be a child at heart, this will help you not to worry about falling, this will help with focus.
- FORWARD. As difficult as it sounds, don’t lean back it reduces speed. Lean into the descent.
- BE BRAVE. You must be fearless. Enough said.
In Thabang’s own words “I learned that fear steals a lot of our opportunities and limits our dreams, it is very important to have a brave heart.”
This guy definitely has a brave heart. He is fearless and that is why he is the two-time South African Trail Running Champion and he knows how run downhill really FAST.
We would like to thank Thabang for this tips and if you get the opportunity to watch him scramble down a hill… grab your cellphone camera, record him and study his skill! You will be amazed.