Backwards Running – Coming Soon to WRC!

1 April 2021 - By James Blackshaw

The club are pleased to announce that we will soon be incorporating backwards running into our Tuesday training sessions. The amount of people taking up backwards running has been on the increase for the last few years, and as a club we want to make sure we are ahead of the curve regarding new trends in running, and therefore we intend to make every fourth Tuesday tempo run a backwards running session.


Benefits of Backwards Running

Some believe that running backwards helps balance out the strain brought on by normal running. Reversing the direction works the friction of tissues oppositely. Running flat or uphill, the heel is used to push off rather than the ball of the foot as normally occurs with forward running, working the tibialis anterior muscle (pushes the heel down, raises the front of the foot) more as a prime mover than a shock absorber. When running backward downhill, the ball of the foot is used whereas forward downhill running uses mainly the heel to absorb the force. This requires more coordination and therefore develops brain power along with muscle power.

Backward running adds another dimension to running, and when complemented by sidestepping in both directions (with and without crossovers front and behind intermittently) covers the essential dimensions of human movement on the two-dimensional plane. Diagonal movement as well as curving running (as is done on long race tracks like 200 m and longer in the Olympics) are additional forms of running.


Next Steps

Feel free to start practising backwards running before we begin the group sessions, but please make sure you take care if backwards running on roads, trails, or in pedestrian-heavy areas.

We also intend to add a backwards running 5k race into our regular 5k summer series, and though backwards running can be done in regular running shoes, the competitive amongst you may want to check out some specific backwards running shoes, such as the Nike Minus 4%.

To get a feel for it, please take a look at this guy, breaking the 6 minute barrier while running backwards, or a list of current Backwards Running World Records.

Any questions please contact Matt Jordan, our volunteer to co-ordinate the backwards running sessions and the point of contact.






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