Once upon a time, I ran from the Denver Airport to downtown for a WordCamp conference. It was 30 miles each way. Much to my surprise, the part of my body that hurt most were my shoulders and arms. Apparently, dangling your arms for 8+ hours while bouncing down the road can lead to fatigue. Who knew?
I’ve learned that good running form requires much more than just legs. It’s a complex movement that transfers the the kinetic energy generated by your body weight, from you shoulders, through your hips and ending in contact with the ground. I can’t explain the physics any better than that because I’m a few laces short of a pair… But when I’m running and my body feels at peak efficiency, this image comes to mind:
Upper body workout for runners:
My workout of choice is a variation of the Tire Pull. This will not increase your max bench press, or bulk up your arms. But it is a tough workout that is remarkably close to the arm movements of running.
I learned the hard way that this workout can damage your back if you start out with too much weight in the tire. If you’re twisting from the waist, it’s is a good sign that the weight might be too much. I’ve been at this for a while and have identified an appropriate weight that is just heavy enough. In this video my waist is twisting, but under slow and controlled movements. This control is critical to avoiding back injury.