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Backward Running

I don’t remember where I read it, but somewhere recently I read that running backwards was beneficial for the hip flexors. Then yesterday I saw in my new marathon book that one of the recommended drills is running backwards. So what did I do yesterday at the gym? Lots of running backwards. 🙂 I probably looked silly but I didn’t care. However, I’m curious… what are the benefits?

According to this article from Run Addicts, running backwards:

1) allows you to still run if you are injured

2) increases muscular balance

3) burns more calories

4) improves leg speed and performance

5) improves posture

6) heightens your senses

I don’t know how much backward running I’ll be doing, but I do plan to incorporate a few reverse jogs into my week. And how is this for interesting – the fastest 5K time running in the opposite direction is 19:31! I’d be happy with that time running in the right direction. Forget trying to run fast AND watch where I’m going!

Happy Trails and Happy Running


5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Never heard of this! Awesome! Thanks for the info.

    April 25, 2013
  2. Interesting. I’ve never heard of this as a training technique either.

    April 26, 2013
    • Back when I was really injured after my race in February, as I was trying to not lose too much fitness, my Nike Training App suggested a workout with backward running. When I first did it, I was amazed at how weak my left hip flexor was. It just wouldn’t move right and I remember thinking, “Wow, this is eye opening”. . Now that I’m pretty much 100% and trying some backward running again, my left side feels so much stronger. I might do a little jogging in the opposite direction before my long run today.

      April 27, 2013
  3. Thanks for the tip, Tracie! Pretty sure I got an Achilles pull two days ago and have been bummed to stay off it. I’m gonna try this! And yes, I have got unusual looks from runners when I flip to backwards for a minute during a race. It is fascinating how it helps in distance running.

    April 28, 2013
    • I hope it helps! An achilles pull doesn’t sound like much fun 😦 And I’ve decided I don’t care how many people think I’m crazy for running backwards. They don’t know me 🙂 Feel better soon!

      April 28, 2013

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