Running, Strengthening, and Conditioning

"Running becomes…well…a tiring affair, just like sitting or standing for long periods of time. When we tire we lose focus. And when we lose focus we slump. As our parents used to tell us, sitting or standing up straight does make a difference. 

So what is that difference exactly? When we are upright, our shoulders more easily sit in their proper “shelf” without any excess effort. When the shoulders are in their proper place, the elbows more easily swing forwards and backwards for a taller, less twisty run posture and faster run times. Easy. 

But when we slump, our shoulders dump forwards and our elbow trajectory shifts side to side. This side-to-side motion forces us to battle that excess rotation we previously discussed, and spend way more energy than we would have to just to run slower. Not good if we want a faster marathon. 

The good news: we can train uprightness and shoulder position, once again, with our pushup. When executed with the proper intention, the pushup develops the positional strength and endurance to stabilize the upper back for longer periods of time. By screwing our hands into the ground and keeping our elbows by our rib cage, we can train shoulder stability and resist the internal rotation and flared elbows that happens with fatigue. So here’s the test. Can you do 15 butt-squeezed full range of motion pushups? Good. Now can you do them with elbows in and hold for 3 seconds? Better. 

So go ahead. Check your posture, test your pushups, and watch your arm swing. You’ll be surprised by the change you can make."

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