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Health & Fitness The adventure of hill running has Archie McRonald keen to hit greater heights

15:15  19 september  2020
15:15  19 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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For Archie McRonald , pulling on his trainers and taking in the unique Perthshire countryside is a blissful experience. Aside from the pure enjoyment factor, the Perth Strathtay Harrier has been proving he is a very The adventure of hill running has Archie McRonald keen to hit greater heights .

Running form: Some runners are natural hill climbers—regardless of where they live and train—and can scale any incline with a surprising amount of ease. And try this drill to figure out if your cadence is fast enough: Count the number of times your feet hit the ground within one minute while running .

He can often be found adventuring among the peace and quiet of the Ochil Hills.

For Archie McRonald, pulling on his trainers and taking in the unique Perthshire countryside is a blissful experience.

Aside from the pure enjoyment factor, the Perth Strathtay Harrier has been proving he is a very accomplished hill runner at the age of just 14.

An impressive performance at the recent Salisbury Crags Junior Hill Race – fifth in the under-18 category with a time of 17:20 for a 4.3km climb – added further evidence to that.

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“And hill sprints or repeats can help improve running economy, which translates into less energy expended over the course of a longer distance race.” The bulk of Ferley’s research has focused on heading up hills as fast as possible in 30-second bouts. These speedy climbs work similarly to

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While involvement in hill running often arrives at a later age, Archie, who describes his father as a “role model”, is taking it all in his stride.

“Hill running definitely came from my father who likes to do all sorts of stupid marathons, ultras and long hours of suffering,” said Archie, who is from Findo Gask.

“It’s always motivating to have a role model who has the experience and knows what path you should take.

“Dad found his love for hill running through his completion of all 282 Munros of Scotland, all starting from a charity fundraising run he did called the Three Peaks Challenge.

“It involved an attempt to climb the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales in under 24 hours. Some say he was then ‘bitten by the bug’.

“I enjoy hill running because it’s different. That sounds like such a generic answer but it can get boring just doing laps of a track.

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Hill had been running every day for 52 years and 39 days - that’s 19,032 days in total when he was forced On his 50 year streak anniversary, he said he was happy when he hits 25 miles per week. The streak worked for Hill , who recorded his greatest running accomplishments after it began.

“There’s almost more of an adventure aspect to it that lets you enjoy nice views and take the dog for a walk at the same time.”

Archie’s passion for hill running was ignited further last year when he attended a series of sessions under the watchful eye of Scottish and world champion Angela Mudge – a true stalwart of the sport.

The weekend camp was held near Oban in the small village of Taynuilt and was a rewarding experience.

“It involved two days and three nights where we ran a lot,” Archie said. “It was good fun and a new experience.

“I learned a lot from Angela and some more experienced runners handed out some good advice which I have put into practice.

“I feel this was the start of ‘properly’ hill running for me and that it was here that my hill running escalated to some of my recent weeks.”

There is a competitive edge to Archie’s running, emphasised with strong runs at early season events at Cademuir Rollercoaster in Peebles and the aforementioned Edinburgh’s Salisbury Crags.

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Have you ever altered your running route just to avoid a hill ? These running hills tips will help Ingesting some carbs prior to hitting steep or hilly portions of a longer training run can be Since leaving Texas on our RV adventure , I've found tons of hills to run on in preparation for the Missoula

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He, too, is always determined to keep up with the fastest times on fitness-tracking application Strava.

Archie said: “My neighbour Brian – a very, very experienced hill runner completing all the Scottish hill races three times over – pushes me to try my luck on the Strava segments on the hill and many others around the area.

“My local hill run that I do is a hill called Craig Rossie which is very steep and gets up to 25 per cent gradient.

“Another run that I do a lot is based around the Knock in Crieff where I go to school, so it’s perfect to just leave my stuff for school and head up for my run.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting racing again post lockdown. The Peebles Cademuir Rollercoaster Race and Salisbury Hill Race were both great season starters and I’m pretty happy with my performance.

“I’m fairly happy with coming in number five out of the under-18 category, being one of the younger ones in the category.

“I do take the age category as a challenge but also enjoy it. There is a great sense of achievement when successful, which is what running is about for me.

“During races it hurts but once complete it feels great and you want to go again. It feels great to beat someone older than you.

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“But age shouldn’t matter and I shouldn’t expect someone older than me to beat me purely because they’re older. There’s always that sense of achievement, which can’t be beaten.”

For all of his hill running ability, Archie is also comfortable competing at a slightly lower altitude.

He is a regular at the George Duncan Athletics Arena’s track when training with the Harriers and has also earned Scotland selection in the discipline of cross country.

“Personally I like cross country a lot because I’ve had more success with events like the Scottish Schools XC at Hopetoun House where I managed to qualify to run for Scotland,” Archie explained.

“Unfortunately the race wasn’t run due to my worst enemy COVID-19 but I’m still happy to say I qualified and still received my Scottish kit which includes jumpers, bags etc.

“The cross country can range from 3-6k at my under-15 age. On the track I prefer the shorter distances such as the 800m or 1500.

“Unfortunately we haven’t had much of a track season but I’m hoping to do well in a mixed age group 1500m race at Meadowmill in East Lothian.”

Archie is in safe hands at a Perth Harriers club which has helped to produce talented endurance athletes in Sol Sweeney and Ben Greenwood, both who have competed for their country.

“It’s great to see the success of both Sol and Ben,” said Archie. “Personally I have never met Sol but having seen him on TV is pretty cool for me.

“On the other hand I live pretty locally to Ben so I often see him running and I keep up with his runs on platforms like Strava.

“I like to follow the progress of the two and it’s great to have his mum Gail and dad Jonathan both as coaches at the Harriers.

“They push us to do our best and I’m sure they have been a great help to Ben’s success.”

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