Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Doing it Backwards

I saw a random thing on Instagram about running backwards and the benefits of it.  In fact the blurb said running backwards once around a track had similar benefits to running forwards 6 times around.

I wish now I would have saved the whole thing to look at later, but I did run backwards for a quarter of a mile with my kids (they ran forward) on their training run yesterday morning. They thought I was crazy and would surely get run over by a car.  I didn't.  I didn't trip or fall in a pothole either.

I also didn't feel like I ran a mile and a half forward, but it did actually feel pretty good and really worked my calves.  So being the person I am I had to look up what the benefits of it are and the downsides if any.

Here is what I found in quick little bullets:
  • Strengthens opposing muscles.  Works quads, calves and shins.  (Since I am a quad dominant runner I wonder if that part is a benefit or not to me.)
  • Claims to burn more calories, up to a fifth or a third (depending on the source) more than forward running. (Yay means I can eat more)
  • Can still run backwards with certain injuries like hamstring and groin, back, ankle, Achilles, and knee injuries.  (personally I question some of that, but sounds good)
  • Heightened senses since you will have to rely on your hearing and peripheral vision more (can you say Superhero?)
  • Improved posture. You naturally stand up straighter when running backwards, this in turn helps strengthen the core muscles (yay)
Sources HERE HERE and HERE

My son decided he wanted to learn crow pose, although he refuses to call it yoga, but working out instead.  It didn't take him too long to get it

The smoke from the Washington fires finally started to blow away and I finally got a real sunrise while out running yesterday. YAY! Although it was still a little muted.

I did a long run Sunday that seemed to suck the life out of me, I decided yesterday's run would be short and easy.  Then I started doing fartleks and it felt good to run fast, so I ended up going 6.2 miles.  Amazing what a difference a day makes!
Then I ran an easy mile and a half with the kids during which I did the backwards running.


  1. Hahha, I love that he won't call it yoga :) Such a guy!

  2. Interesting on the running backwards! Are you going to incorporate it into your training? :) Maybe there is benefit! Your family's yoga skills make me jealous - there is no way my arms would hold me up like that! As always, love your scenery pictures!

  3. I don't think I will ever incorporate the running backwards, but like you, I think it sounds good!

  4. When I ran the Seattle Marathon, for a short distance I ran beside a runner running backwards. I might try it sometime, but probably not during a race!

  5. My husband is always running backwards waiting on me to catch up to him :)

  6. Awesome job from your son! Too cute that he is "working out"... boys. I have a dislike of running backwards ever since I tripped and fell doing that in college... and broke my wrist. Oy!!!

  7. I've never even thought about backwards running. Interesting stuff. Maybe I'll have to try it to mix up treadmill boringness this winter.

    I think it's hilarious that your son won't call it "yoga." Typical boy. :)

  8. I take backwards breaks during marathons (and occasionally halves). It really helps when my legs are getting sore and tired.
    I also like to run backwards on random runs just as a throwback to the PT I did for years for my hip- there's another benefit: helps strengthen hip flexors, according to my old PT! I used to have to walk a half mile backwards on a treadmill in those days before they'd let me move on.
    Your kid is too funny. Boys.

  9. Interesting. Might have to try this;) The WA smoke must be blowing all your way, I haven't seen any of it and I live in western WA.

  10. Very interesting about backward running! I am positive it would result in a broken bone for me, but I had never even considered it before.

  11. I feel that in order to not fall down and hurt myself I would need to run backwards on a track.

    I laughed when I saw your crow pose with son the other day on IG--- kids pick up things so much quicker than adults :)

  12. I can barely walk backwards. Never could run... although my husband does a bit of it occasionally. I think he tends to keep his knees up a bit higher. Do you do that too?


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