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What does bad running form look like?

JUN 22, 2022

Minute 1: Does it pay to be a repetitive fanatic?

Bruce Lee once said: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” The message is simple: through repetition, you can achieve mastery. Athletes have put this into practice in a variety of ways, and one recent example shows the benefits and risks of extreme repetition. Take a look at “What Happened When This Guy Did 100 Pullups Every Single Day.” Daniel Witmer is a fitness vlogger who took on this challenge for a goal of 30 days. He made it 25 before pulling a muscle. That brings us to the first and most obvious downside to methods of extreme repetition: overuse injuries. Every muscle has a breaking point, and using the same one day after day without providing time for recovery can be a recipe for disaster. While it can pose a risk, it’s hard to deny that the consistent effort of a challenge like this will get results. Daniel reports that at the start, it would take over an hour to complete his 100 reps, often with just 2 or 3 done at a time. By the end of the challenge, he would complete each session in a little over half an hour. Of course many of us know running streakers – not the kind in this scene from the movie Old School, but people who run at least once a day for years. There is even an organization called the United States Running Streak Association that maintains a database of successful streaks. You can check out details in this story: “The Truth About Run Streaks.” Runners and gym goers are not the only athletes who've benefited from crazy high reps. We saw a remarkable woman speak in Boston a couple of years ago and this summary provides a good description of her persistence: “Long-distance swimming legend Diana Nyad shares tales, offers example of triumph.” Nyad explained that while prepping for her epic swim from Cuba to Florida at age 64, she would supplement her swim training with 1,000 sit ups per day. Not most days, she reminded the crowd, but every day.

Minute 2: Follow this guide to beat back pain in road trip season

The freedom of the open road on a summer day has a way of lifting our spirits. Tunes cranking, windows down, left hand surfing the wind. With the right mix of coffee and scenery, we could drive for hours, as long as our back cooperates. Many of us know the sensation of stiffness during a long road trip, but this story caught our “Don’t Let Your Next Road Trip Leave You With Lower Back Pain.” Physical therapist Abigail Feitzer says that posture can make a big difference. By sitting up straight with your knees slightly above the pelvis, you’ll be placing a more natural distribution of weight on your spine. Slouching over and holding the same position for extended periods, however, won’t do you any favors. Avoiding back pain means taking care of yourself, both inside and outside the car. The article has 2 videos of core and pilates exercises to follow along with, so give them a watch while you prepare for your next trip. Unsure where to go? Take a look at “The 25 Best Summer Trips in North America” according to Outside magazine. #BackRoads

Minute 3: Apparently, these states shower the least

You know what stinks? Bad showering habits, that’s what. This week, Barstool Sports tweeted out a list of states that shower the least. Poor old West Virginia topped the list, but there were a few surprising entries as well. We’ll be the first to admit, Barstool is not the gold standard of journalistic integrity, but their post got us thinking nonetheless. So today, we’re considering this question asked and answered by WebMD: “How Often Should You Shower?” In addition to hurting your social life by showering too little, showering too much also poses a risk. Doing so can strip away your skin’s natural oils and “good” bacteria. Without these, you can experience allergic reactions, dry skin, itchiness, and more. On the other hand, showering infrequently can result in unwanted odor, acne, dandruff and eczema. These problems can be exacerbated by exercise. Take a look at the “Ugly Side Effects of Not Showering After Exercise, Says Science.” Sweat left on the skin can be a breeding ground for bacteria, meaning that waiting to shower after a workout puts you at risk for an infection. Moisture can also allow the growth of fungus like Athlete’s Foot, so it goes without saying that post workout, you’ll want to spend a little extra effort with your soap bar getting things squeaky clean.

Minute 4: Check your form with this list of running don'ts

Trying to be a strong runner with poor form is like trying to build a strong building with a bad architect. No matter how much effort you put in, without the right form, inefficiencies and increased injury rates will get in your way and prevent you from reaching your potential. Just how do you know if your form is bad, and what can you do about it? Many of the answers can be found in this new story: “What Does Bad Running Form Look Like – A Complete Guide.” Warning signs that suggest your form needs work include repeated injuries, fatigue in certain muscle groups, and dramatically different wear patterns on your shoes. Reaching out to a coach or experienced runner to observe your form can be helpful in diagnosing a problem, but if that’s not an option, try filming yourself running on a treadmill and then compare it to the pros in this video: “Powerful techniques elite runners use to run faster.” Good form starts with good posture, and a gentle forward lean works well for most people. Don’t just bend forward at the waist, though. Try to keep your hips upright, and lean with the whole body as you increase in speed. For 3 other tips, watch the rest of the video, which pulls in good examples of elite runners to demonstrate proper form.

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • Patience is a virtue, and it should go without saying that for endurance athletes, it’s an important one. It doesn’t come easy to all of us, especially in a culture that provides a lot of opportunity for instant gratification and fast-paced stimulation. The fact is, you can improve your patience if you apply yourself, and there are all sorts of benefits you can learn about in this story from iRunFar: “Patience Wears Sneakers.”

  • In an ideal world, your heaviest workouts would be followed by your largest recovery meals. You’ll need to replenish lots of energy and provide your muscles with protein for growth. But for many of us, the thought of wolfing down a big meal after a hard workout spoils our appetite. Now, scientists think they know why. A study revealed that intense exercise releases a molecule into the blood, dubbed lac-phe, which suppresses appetite. For those who like to use HIIT for weight loss, that’s a good thing. For everyone else just trying to get faster or stronger, it’s a reason to use caution: “Study: The Real Reason You’re Not Hungry After an Intense Workout.”

  • For all the good that warmer weather brings for lovers of the outdoors, there are a few downsides. One of those is the spread of ticks during the summer. If you’re unfamiliar with the varieties that are out there, you should brush up on this identification chart. Some ticks are ugly and dangerous while others are just ugly. Beyond that, you can learn how to protect yourself in this story from Canadian Running: “It’s tick season: how to stay pest-free on the trails.”

  • Earlier this week, we sent emails to a few of you seeking feedback on your athletic interests and asked what type of content you would like to see emphasized or pared back in Six Minute Mile. The initial response from this test group was excellent, so we wanted to make the survey available to all our readers. Please click here to take the brief survey and let us know things like how many races you run per year and what type of GPS tracking (if any) you prefer. Cosmic benefit: helping a merry band of endurance sports writers improve. Practical benefit: a chance to win a Six Minute Mile t-shirt.

  • Calling all Buckeyes, Wolverines, Spartans, Gophers and all other Big 10 fans. Now is the last chance to register for the BTN Big 10K and 5K in Chicago before the price increase on June 30th! Registration includes school-specific race shirt and Big Ten medal, photo ops with your favorite Big Ten mascots and cheerleaders and a post race tailgate.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

When a track and field athlete draws closer and closer to a world record, a buzz and a crowd usually follow that athlete. Every event the runner enters gets a little fuller, and the crowd cheers a little louder in hopes of encouraging that special moment of history. For Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the spotlight sure has found its mark. Since his victory at the Olympics in Tokyo, the world has been watching this young star set his sights on even greater goals. At only 21 years old, time is on his side to break the European, and even world record in the mile, and he took a shot at it recently in Oslo this past week. To see how he did, watch the short video below (Here’s a hint: it will take you less than 4 minutes to find out!)


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