Q. Will running or walking backward improve my performance?
A. Backward walking and running boost cardiovascular fitness, work the quads and improve balance. And because you tend to reach back further for each step when you’re going backward, it also helps increase stride length, which can help you pick up the pace going forward. Putting your body in reverse takes some practice, so start out by walking backward slowly on a track or treadmill, using the handrails for balance. Build up to two 20-minute sessions a week, alternating between backward and forward walking. Once that feels comfortable, progress to running backward.
A. For events up to 10K, treadmill running is fine. But some outdoor training is important for longer distances. A treadmill’s surface is softer than the road’s, which lessens the impact on your legs. In order for your muscles to be prepared for the pounding of high-mileage races, you need to develop surface-specific leg strength. So, when training for distances beyond 10K run on the road at least once a week, preferably on your long run.
A. Any mileage increase stresses your muscles, tendons and joints. But by alternating higher mileage days with non-running days, you can safely increase your total mileage while keeping your injury risk low. If you try to increase your mileage by adding short runs on your former off days, you make it harder for your body to recover from your efforts. So add some distance (or time) to your running days. In fact, many runners find that they can even run twice a day without becoming injured – as long as they take that day off in between.Runner’s World Australia & New Zealand is a magazine and website that informs, advises, and motivates runners of all ages and abilities. Visit us www.runnersworldonline.com.au