Learn 2 Run: Week 4

Run: 1:30
Walk: 1:30

So, this week, we will be working what your hands and arms are doing and how it affects your running efficiency.

When the body moves, arms, legs, shoulders and hips all move in counterbalance to each other.  Your body is just a set of complex pendulums based on your center of mass, that when working together make movement possible.

When running your upper body and lower body rotate in opposite directions as do your hands and feet.  Ever watched a slow motion video of a dog shaking itself off?  Notice that the front half move in the opposite direction of the back half?  If both ends moved in the same direction the dog would fall over.   It’s called counter balancing.

Your body works the same way. You can’t run with your left hand and feet moving in the same direction at the same time.  Try it.  You can’t do it or if you can, you’ll notice that it’s horribly awkward and inefficient.

Still not convinced?  During one of your run intervals, without increasing the tempo of your legs and feet, just swing your arms faster.  Automatically, your feet will move faster and you’ll run faster.

Tuck this information away for when you are sprinting for the finish line and your body is saying it’s got nothing left.  It’s a good trick to use.

Arms should be relaxed and bent at about a 45 degree angle. Your hands should be relaxed and your thumbs should just graze your hips.  Your elbows should be in, close to your body and your hands should be moving back and forth in your direction of travel.  Hands out, elbows in.

I see too many runners with their elbows out, upper body rotating back and forth, looking like a washing machine doing the “agitator cycle”.  Too much upper body rotation translates to too much lower body rotation.  Your hands should NEVER cross in front of your body.

Remember that whatever you do with your upper body is reflected in your lower body.

L2R Week 4 Workouts

  • Warm Up: 3-5 minutes of brisk walking.
  • Interval Training: 30-40 minutes
    • Run: 1:30
    • Walk: 1:30
    • Do exactly the interval times listed, don’t do more because you feel good
    • Slow down if you are having trouble with the run intervals.
    • Focus on keeping your upper body quiet and your hands moving back and forth, not side to side.
  • Cool Down: 3-5 minutes of brisk walking.
  • Stretch: 2 minutes

Learn 2 Run: Basics
Learn 2 Run: Week 1
Learn 2 Run: Week 2
Learn 2 Run: Week 3
Learn 2 Run: Week 4
Learn 2 Run: Week 5
Learn 2 Run: Week 6
Learn 2 Run: Week 7
Learn 2 Run: Week 8
Learn 2 Run: Week 9
Learn 2 Run: Week 10