Yesterday I was reading the latest research done by the National Institute of Running Sciences and how running backwards increases leg muscle strength by 18% and can lower your PR by 11%. Even though running backwards is embraced in some places, the only thing going through my mind was what ridiculousness! (Photo by Metro News).
I called running researcher Dr. Ayer O’Beck at the Institute. He explained, “It’s the muscle confusion theory that other successful exercise programs employ. When you only run forward, you get into a rut. You get stale. By using novel techniques, the body reacts quite positively.”
Though I’ve disputed the Institute’s research results in the past, this was way too hokey. I mean, it’s just plain stupid. Running backwards is hard to do, and even if it did any good, eventually it’d become a rut, too. I told Ayer this was the final straw, and they should either change their name to the National Institute of Running Jokes or dissolve the organization.
Dr. O’Beck didn’t appreciate my comment. “You should either apologize or get your ear ready for the slamming of my phone.”
There was a moment of silence before Dr. O’Beck added, “I shouldn’t waste my time on an idiot like you, but since I’m a professional, I’ll give you the short explanation; we found that running backwards works great, but you should mix it up. Run sideways sometimes. Do short runs where you kick yourself in the butt with every stride. Do a few runs in a crouch position.”
“Seriously, Doctor, is this really true?”
“You bet it is, and running backwards has even more benefits. The wind doesn’t blow in your face, leaving your skin more supple and youthful looking.. After a few weeks the back of your head adapts, becoming more pointy and aerodynamic, which many find attractive. And besides, people enjoy running backwards because they like to see where they’ve been and whether anyone’s following them.”
I apologized to Dr. O’Beck and told him I’d like to test the technique.
Now I’m planning to start a group. Is there anyone else who’d like to meet up and run backwards for a couple months?