So the hubbie saw me running, I'd done 8km and made it to 12k. I'm a total novice but I keep trying. I thought I'd the demons licked. However last night he mentioned my posture and how I was pretty knackered looking at the end the run. He's mentioned I should get a personal trainer to teach me how to run properly, and yet my joy has been due to the sheer flexibility and think time it gives me. It's totally sucked the life out of this for me. I felt deep embarrassment. I'd really pushed on all by myself and I had stopped worrying about people looking at me whilst I'm running. Now I'm totally devastated and I'm terrified of going out again. I'm annoyed I've let his silly comment trip me up, I've been so determined. what the heck am I to do??😪😪😪

26 Replies

  • Trust me, I probably run like a dinosaur. Honestly posture and technique issues (if present at all) don't make your accomplishments any less. You're still tearing it up!

  • Looking at your last post, it sounds like you'd had a tough run and you were tired already before you ever got to 8k.

    We all have easy days and hard days. I would just chalk it up as a bad running day and try to put it behind you.

    There are always aspects that we could all improve on but in reality the only person that matters to is you. Yes, your hubbie was watching you run - he's your hubbie, of course he was - and that's what he came out to do wasn't it? That doesn't mean anyone else is analysing your technique. 95% of people will just be amazed that you can run and they can't and the other 5% will wish they were out running with you!

    The most important thing is not to let this stop you running! I'll bet your hubbie would be devastated if he thought he had put you off. I'm sure he's as impressed as anyone that you're running 12k at a time.

    If you are worried about your posture then probably the best place to start is doing some "core" exercises - planks, situps, that kind of thing. That will help your general posture and will improve your running, both from a posture point of view and from your general stability.

    You're a runner - don't forget that! You earned it.

    Let us know how it goes - and happy running!


  • One of the things you probably need to do is to talk about this with him. Maybe he's a competitive runner whose reward is winning/ pushing those times faster? And you've just found a kind of "running nirvana", where you're like us lot here, getting out there in the fresh air, and just enjoying that for its own sake? So step 1 is he has to accept the validity of your way for you, and he can keep his way for him. Something like that.

    Then once that's established, you could probably treat just the merits of what he's suggested as something to consider. I would imagine he just wanted to be helpful, and didn't want to knock your confidence. Critical thinking is just more natural that positive thinking or out of the box thinking, so we default to it. So to be helpful, find out what's wrong with someone, and then suggest a good way to fix it. (Instead of finding out what's right, or something off the wall that opens interesting possibilities - the non-default thought modes). As an attempt at helpfulness, you could pick this up and say something like, "So I can have a new running goal to replace the one of just getting running, I'll ________ ", and pick one of the aspects of your running style that you could work on as you zone out, out there on that road, and Enjoy working on. (The advice has to be brought into alignment with Your motivations for running.)

    If I may be so forward, trying to "run tall" is a nice single task you can turn into fun ... as you run (said Dr Seuss). That's close enough to your husband's clumsy attempt at helpfulness to be a project that could make you both a bit happier.

    And the other people out there? Those people sitting in their cars? Those people looking out the bus window? I can tell you now that you already Know that their opinion of you Still doesn't matter. Not even a tiny bit. You've found a source of joy, so you go drink there, and to hell with all the strangers who might mock from their couches. Those unkind potatoes just don't know what they're missing, poor things. Rather have some pity on them.

  • If your husband saw you at 8k, while on a 12k run, then he may well be right in that your posture and technique may well have slipped, as it does for all of us when tired. Use his comments positively, as I am sure they were intended. Read up on posture and technique and work at improving it bit by bit, paying special attention when you are tired as gary_bart has suggested. We can't normally see ourselves running,so observations from others should be noted as valuable, but should not be taken as criticism.

    I am an obstinate autodidact and would never consider employing somebody to tell me how to run, but I do listen to comment and advice and seek out information from as many sources as possible. I also believe that as your body strengthens, your posture will improve with time. I would never say that you can't be taught, but do believe that we learn best when we teach ourselves. You have got yourself this far and there is no reason why you should not continue with great success. Good luck.

  • It was my daughter who criticised my posture recently and my gut reaction to her comment was defensive like yours. But I am now so grateful to her. I realise that it only counted as 'criticism' in my own head. She meant it as encouragement to get faster , which she knew I wanted to do. Acknowledging that she was right was the most difficult stepI After that it was easy. I 'm lucky in that both my son and daughter are runners so were able to help me. In fact it was only a couple of tips that were needed to dramatically change the way I was running and the feeling I got at the end of a run ('I would quite like to do more' instead of 'Yay! I've finished')

    Maybe a personal trainer could help you but personally, like IT, I prefer to pick up ideas for myself from here and there rather than following some guru's prescription. For me, holding my stomach in , pushing my shoulders back and keeping my head up were the three simple improvements that made a difference. When I added to that my son's suggestion of imagining I was running into the wind with a parasail attached to my shoulders pulling them backwards and up, I was away!

    I am faster now, but more importantly my running is even more enjoyable. I do hope that like me you get over your initial feeling of discouragement and move on. Let us know how it goes :-)

  • The "pulling a parasail " tip is really helping me. I've tried it on the last few runs. Thanks for sharing :)

  • I followed this advice today during my run and it's amazing what a difference it made. I felt lighter on my feet and faster and, best of all, my ankle felt better. Maybe I was running on my toes more, I don't know, but, what ever it was, thank you so much for posting this advice :) :)

  • Me too, I'm trying to keep this in mind during my runs. I can feel the difference, and yesterday my husband told me my posture has really improved...I try and remember to pull my stomach muscles in too, that seems to help. Thanks TT xx

  • I think one of the main benefits of this visualisation is that it makes you open your chest to maximum capacity so you can take in more oxygen. When you're hunched over, you just can't breathe as deeply. Bleeding obvious really. So why didn't I think of it before?!

  • I think it's mental too, if you're hunched over chances are you're looking at the ground, not conducive for positive thoughts!

  • I have nothing to add to the encoraging comments above apart from to tell you that I have the running style of a constipated camel which as you can imagine is not pretty!! 😆😆😉

  • I love it. I have dinosaur running style. Half up on the balls of my feet with bent arms sticking out like a T-rex.

  • Look at Phoebe from friends! Her style was most unconventional, yet she got Rachel converted... ;-)

    Wouldn't worry about how you look, unless it's to improve your strength / endurance at some point, if you really want to. I haven't ever looked at another runners posture while out. I know I personally look pretty heavy footed and tired, compared to the gazelle like (and irritating ;-) ) young gentlemen who went galloping past me this morning. But who cares? We are having fun, enjoying ourselves, getting "lush endorphins" (as I have heard them called on here), getting fit and gaining confidence.

    Sometimes love ones can make throw away comments without thinking, often with the best intentions. You're doing great honest. :-)

  • Men. Gawd bless 'em! They try to offer practical solutions and they mean the very best but sometimes they stick their foot right in their mouths. And then keep digging...

    You describe yourself as a novice (aren't we all?), but look, you have just run 12km! That's a bloody long way! You have every reason to be a bit tired towards the end. Perhaps it showed in your posture, perhaps it didn't – I'm sure your husband was trying to be constructive but it just came out too bluntly. He was there to support you, and I promise he is the only person “appraising” your running style, no passer by ever notices a runner (as I've found to my cost from pedestrians who walk right into my path like I'm not there, even though I'm wearing a bright top!)

    When my OH first saw me run he totally burst my bubble by describing my gait as a "shuffle"! Though I do kick my own ankles when I get tired so perhaps there was indeed something in it. It also took me a while to learn to relax my shoulders and upper body when I ran, all these things take time. I'm still learning.

    Don't be put off. You don't need a personal trainer. And you just ran 12km! Please keep on running, you can only get better and stronger.

  • Are you in the c25kers on Facebook ? Someone called Ollie Frog posted pics the other day of her finish in a particular 10k race one year apart 2014 and 2015. As a new runner in 2014 she looked shattered, hunched over and ready to drop. 2015 she is running tall with big smile on her face. I think a year of running has made her fitter and more comfortable with the distance. As a recent graduate you have done incredibly well to get up to 12k. Don't be downhearted and DO continue with what you're doing.

  • Oh Sparky you poor sausage, just what you didn't need- " helpful" comments on your running style from your nearest and dearest! Isn't it funny how one critical comment can knock our confidence down the coal hole but a dozen words of praise can be forgotten in a heartbeat.

    The 3 estimable gentlemen who commented before me have approached your post in a logical way, offering sound advice about dealing with your alleged posture issues. Me, I think sympathy and righteous indignation are called for. Of course you looked tired 8k into a 12k run, you'd just run 8k for goodness sake. So just you file that comment under 'Statements of the Bleedin' Obvious' and carry on regardless.

    There isn't one of us who wouldn't benefit for expert tuition in the noble art of running. Personally, I'm convinced I look like an Epic Gazelle, hence my Garmin Connect name, but, having seen myself on video, I know I look like Dot Cotton running for a bus. But s*d it! I'm not trying to get into the Olympics, the Royal Ballet or even my local running club. I just want to run for my own enjoyment and wellbeing.

    So do what YOU want. Run how you want to for your own reasons, and if that involves taking up hubbies kind offer to pay for you to have a personal trainer, then so be it. But if it doesn't then that's fine and dandy too. You're the boss, you decide xx

  • I have never ran 12k so I am seriously impressed - well done.

    I 'babysit' my daughter whilst my husband and son run Parkrun most weeks. We sit on a bench and clap whilst they all do their two laps. The thing that never ceases to amaze me is that running style bears virtually no correlation to finish time, how knackered you look or how much the individual is enjoying themselves. There are 65 year old men with apparent beer bellies, shuffling their feet with their head down and their arms at their sides looking miserable and finishing in 20 minutes contrasted alongside skinny little ladies who appear to have leapt out of a running magazine bringing up the rear (and every possible combination and permitation in between). We are all different. We all run differently. Let's enjoy it :)

  • So you've spotted me at parkrun then ;)

    Yes, I have the beer belly, shuffle and invariably have my head down by the end. Can I correct you on two items though:

    1) I may look 65 but I'm not quite there yet - still have another 3 years plus to go

    2) There's no way i hit 20 minutes - it's normally 22:00 to 22:30. I know the guy who does hit 20 minutes though - he's actually 69!

  • LOL. It's not you ...... obviously I can see your profile picture that demonstrates you are much better looking ;)

  • When I'm running I feel as if I run like MO, but in fact from parkrun photos I run more like quasiMOdo. I would benefit from taking advice from better runners, of course I would, I've been running 9 months, I'm a complete novice. If I took expert advice I'd probably run faster and more efficiently (further), what's wrong with that? Much as we congratulate ourselves when we graduate, graduation is just the start, and there is a long way to go to get anywhere near fit.

    Tell your husband you think it's a great idea of his to get a PT, and since its his idea he has to pay half. Or go to your local parkrun and see if anyone there is prepared to give you some pointers (at my parkrun there are several people who do course for c25k, stamina, 5k to 10k etc for £3 a shot). You never know you may get some training for the price of cookies and cake!!

  • I'm with TurboTortoise and Ancient Mum on this and that's all I shall say *stuffs mouth with gagging material so isn't too outraged on your behalf* 😉

  • My husband upset me by telling that what I was doing "was not running" Cheeky t*at! It really irked me. Still, don't get mad. Get even! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

  • Paula Radcliffe's form was never pretty but it didn't stop her! ;)

    Few words of advise though. Run upright (not lent forward), head up (I tend to watch my feet!) and feet falling under hips. :D

  • Poor you. Don't give up (Ooh, I want to sing Kate Bush again). Foot in mouth disease strikes again... Maybe you could check out ways of improving posture for better running if you want, but if you're comfy and have no injuries I wouldn't try to change it too much, could be counterproductive.

    You shouldn't worry about what other people think - and I honestly reckon that anyone who sees a runner is more impressed to see them making the effort than criticizing the way you run. And those who do? You don't know them, so you shouldn't care what they think. One of my favorite Dr Seuss quotes is: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind". Or something along those lines.

    I saw another runner today and was fascinated by his gait - he looked like he was treading grapes as he ran. But what really struck me was that he was going fast and looked happy. He probably went home to tell his wife that he came across a beetroot red madwoman lolloping through the countryside like a pitbull with a broomstick up its bum, but she looked happy. I probably won't see him again, and neither of us gave a toss what the other thought.

    When Calculus (aka hubby) gives me running advice, I suggest that he comes along to show me. His enthusiasm mysteriously wanes within five minutes.

  • Ignore him. It doesn't matter what you look like and you were feeling good. A bit of jealousy on his part I think. You are doing well, keep it up.

  • Dear wonderful folk who've replied. I love ya all.

    I have decided to run tomorrow evening.

    I AM going to beat the demons.

    I AM going to TRY to improve my posture with your advice. RUN TALL.

    I AM not going to give a dam what anyone says or thinks about my running from here on in. I started this to feel better and I forgot that for a split second.

    I AM going to do this for myself, because I can, unlike lots of folk out there who would love to but can't.



    Thank you guys, you rock!

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