Running with a water bottle

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m notoriously bad for rotating my torso when I run. The thing is, when I went to see the physio the other month, he told me that I do it because my arms don’t swing ‘equally’. That is to say, my right arm swings forwards naturally, whilst my left arm stays very close to my side, almost immobile at times. As a result, I twist my body sideways when I run, causing my hips and knees and feet to compensate, which results in the various aches and pains I get (fun times!)

I came across an article recently that made me really think about WHY this happens: ‘Is running with a hand-held bottle slowing you down?

For the record, I don’t completely agree with the title – though it’s an interesting point. What stood out to me what the point they make about upper-body movement:

“.. If you run holding a water bottle, notice if the arm you hold the water bottle in moves less than your other arm ..”

Coincidentally, my I carry my water bottle in my left hand (I don’t tend to ever switch sides) .. But I would be very surprised if the solution to (one of) my posture problems was caused by something so simple! Even so, it might be worth switching hands just to see if my posture changes at all. Running technique is all about trial and error, after all!

As for the speed thing, I have no idea whether a little water bottle would really make that much difference? Personally, I’m not a very fast runner with or without, and whilst my fastest mile times are from Parkrun (where I don’t carry a bottle), I’d imagine this is more due to the fact that 5k is a shorter distance than most of my other runs?

Do you carry a water bottle when running? Have you ever noticed a change in your upper-body posture (or speed) as a result?


Regaining running fitness

It always amazes me just how much fitness you can lose after just a couple of weeks of not regularly running. Granted, it serves me right for not sticking to my training plan – but life really has been crazy lately. I’ve been handed over more than 20 clients at work (lots of those are very quiet accounts .. but even so), I’ve had birthdays, work events, meetings .. And I recently started driving lessons. Phew!

I have to admit, the feedback from the biomechanical running analysis kind of knocked my confidence a little. Having someone demonstrate how bad you are at something that 1) you don’t feel you’re that great at, 2) you kind of thought you miiight be getting better at and 3) have enough trouble motivating yourself to get out there and do it already .. Well, it doesn’t really make me want to get out there and give it a go.

I sometimes wonder whether my half marathon actually happened. Did I really run 13.25 miles in the torrential rain, for a creme egg? Did I really push myself through a 3-hour, 16-mile training run in the bitter cold, on the verge of tears, nearly throwing my last half a gel at a horrendous little boy?

Was I really a runner?

Am I even a runner now?

I tried to adjust my running posture this evening. I tried to stop my arms from crossing my torso and making it twist – and my torso defiantly twisted even more. I tried to take smaller, quicker steps to reduce the amount of time my feet were on the ground – my feet moved faster, but I’m pretty sure I’d still be classed a ‘shuffler’.

It sounds crazy, but I feel like I’ve forgotten HOW to run. Suddenly, whatever I do it doesn’t feel ‘right’ like it did before, and far from maintainable! But how can I have gotten to this stage, when I was comfortably running 2+ hours just a couple months ago? I mean, I cycle 14 miles a day! It isn’t like I don’t do cardio!

It really goes to show that no matter how good a workout cross-training might be, nothing really maintains your running fitness and technique .. except running.

Has anybody else found this?

My shin/upper foot pain flared up before I even got 1.5 miles into my run this evening. I made it to 2.25 miles and ended up back at my house, with no desire to go back around the block for another mile.

Not even 3 miles. Where on earth did those other 13 go? And when will I get them back?

On a more positive note, myself and a few ladies from my office are running the 5k Race for Life on Sunday, in support of Cancer Research UK. If you’re interested in donating to a good cause, we’re £50 towards our £100 goal, and every little bit is greatly appreciated by all of us.

Now I’m off to stretch, and foam roll a few niggly muscles back into submission!