High as a kite!

For my recovery run after my 10k I went for a 5k run with my daughter who's visiting from New Zealand. After half a K she glanced across at me and said 'pull your shoulders back, put your head up. You're running like an old woman' Never one to mince words my daughter... But she was right . I was aware from photos from the race that my posture looked hunched but had forgiven myself and just thought it an inevitable consequence of anno domini. However, bullied by Sally I made a real effort to straighten up and was amazed to find that not only did the run feel easier but I shaved half a minute off my PB. I told my ironman son about this when I got home and he said that a tip he found useful was to imagine you were towing a kite- one of those parasail things which was attached to your shoulders and was trying to lift you up. I tried visualising that yesterday and it was amazing. My shoulders stayed back my body leaned forward in a straight line and I ran faster (as witnessed by my garmin) I'm interested to know if anyone else has tried this visualisation thing? I'm a convert!

11 Replies

  • I haven't tried it, I probably should - nay, I will next time! I hate my style, and I'd like to knock 30 seconds off too!

  • I am a bit on the long side and do tend to round my shoulders. I make a concerted effort to 'run tall', and keep my shoulders back and relaxed, it certainly does help. One day when I did park run I did a little sprint finish, a spectator at the side called out 'keep your head up' and that made a big difference to me - everything seemed to work a bit better. The kite idea sounds like a good one, I'll try that.


  • Sounds like really good advice which I will test out and report back :) love the kite visualization!!

  • Ah they're good at parkrun aren't they. Very supportive

    Laura told us to "run tall" as if you were peering over a tall hedge. I know I slump when I'm tired. When you slump your posture goes all over the place so you have to make a concerted effort to straighten up. A little walk to get your breath back doesn't come a miss if you're seriously flagging

    Lucky you to have such supportive offspring TT! I have only couch potatoes!!! Bah!

  • I realised a couple of runs ago that I was running with my head back, I used to do that when I was on a treadmill. It gives me pain across my shoulders later in the day. I have been consciously trying to relax my shoulders and look forward on the ground. It's not always easy when I get tired! Will keep the kite in mind next run.

    Happy running

  • I do that too, with the same result of shoulder pain but I'm also still looking at the ground so it took me a while to figure it out. Now I have it's something else to add to my check list during a run.

  • Oooooo something to try for my next run :) Nice that your daughter is over, has she brought the little one too? I'm getting excited as I now have a nephew in NZ and they might be coming over later in the year :)

  • Their 6 weeks here is coming to an end but it has been great. Kiwis are fun and they make us see some of our silly English customs for what they are! You will need to pay a return visit and enjoy running in some of that lovely NZ sunshine!

  • I tend to hunch over when I run, the best prompt I have is something I read in a book about lady runners. I have to think about my pelvis position and everything straightens when I run. Works a treat.

    The actual saying I use is (Sorry gents) fanny front.

    But it works!!

  • The kite pulling the shoulders back does that for me !

  • Sounds like useful advice, thanks. I know if I go on a 'long' run, sometimes my knee starts to ache when i am tiring. If I think about straightening my back and not dragging my feet it really helps to stop the aches.

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