"Just my calves are a bit burning" -46 year old Ralf Klug, who finished the Prague Marathon running backwards in 6:50. What's even more amazing is that according to the article, the world record for running a marathon backwards is 3:43:39 by Xu Zhenjun of China. EarthTimes.org
I checked out backward running on google, and was somewhat surprised to see the number of websites dedicated to backward, or retro running. Here is one example from a paper called FORWARD AND BACKWARD LOCOMOTION: UNDERSTANDING THE BENEFITS by Barry Bates, PhD and Janet Dufek, PhD from the University of Oregon and the University of Nevada. According to their research, retro running can:
- Provide sport-specific activity training;
- Improve cardiovascular function;
- Provide stronger musculo-skeletal foundation;
- Improve muscle balance;
- Help prevent injuries;
- Facilitate neuro-muscular function;
- Facilitate balance and proprioception.
There are other benefits related to injury rehabilitation:
"Some conditions that have been observed to respond positively to retro locomotion include the following":
- Muscle strains including low back, hip, groin and hamstrings;
- Ankle sprains;
- Post-surgical knee joint rehabilitation;
- Shin splint syndrome;
- Achilles tendon strains.
For obvious reasons, BE CAREFUL!