We don’t want to train the wrong muscles

So this morning I found myself on my hands and knees and coach is holding my foot in his hands, asking me to push my knee down down as hard as I can.

“Where do you feel the tension? Athletes need to understand which parts of their bodies are working.”

I don’t feel it in the front of my thigh. I feel it in the lower back.

“Why would his lower back be firing and not his thigh?”

“We’ll, he’s a little kyphotic” — I must pause here to note it’s not every day I learn a new word — “his lower back might be compensating for tension in his upper back.”

“Yeah, I don’t think we’re going to get a decent workout from him until we loosen up his back.”

Now I find myself lying on the prone in the pine needles, arms at my side, while one of the other runners, a physical therapist, steps deliberately up and down my back. Afterwards, at least the first time, I run a nice sprint up the hill, with less of the crazy form problems than usual.

It seems, my form problem has more to do with my carriage and arms than my stride, but as coach said, “we’re still digesting this.”



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