As any athletic trainer marathon training would, Mitch Hauschildt has a foolproof game plan for optimizing runners’ performance during pre-marathon runs. Discover why proper posture can improve a runner’s breathing, stride, speed and overall efficiency.
As a runner with a compromised nervous system due to Multiple sclerosis (MS), I find that improving my overall running efficiency has a cascade effect – improved efficiency means that I can run faster, which minimizes my overall time under tension, which limits neurological fatigue and reduces foot drop, ultimately making for a safer, more enjoyable running experience.
Most runners tend to lose running efficiency as they fatigue, partly due to a breakdown in postural positioning. As we grow tired during a long run, we tend to lean forward. When this happens, we see a reduction in running economy because our pelvis rotates anteriorly, ultimately leading to a shortened stride length. Additionally, when we lean forward, our diaphragm becomes compressed and breathing becomes more challenging, robbing our body of oxygen when it needs it the most. For runners, fatigue oftentimes has a compounding effect. When we are tired, we become less efficient, which makes us more tired, which leads to decreased efficiency and on and on and on.
A simple and effective way to improve posture while running is an upper body “X” kinesiology taping application. The application involves 2 pieces of tape that angle from each shoulder to the opposite lower lat region, making a large “X” on the back. The key to this application is placing the shoulder blades in a neutral, to slightly retracted position when applying the tape. Make sure that the tape is applied with no stretch. Check out this demo on YouTube.
When you start to breakdown and lean forward while running, the kinesiology tape will cue you to remain upright, improving your running economy and helping you to breathe more easily. This technique has become an important part of my long training runs as I prepare for the New York City half marathon.
Small interventions like posture retraining can lead to big improvements in how you feel and run over a long distance. Making what seems to be very small changes to your mechanics can have very large effects when you consider the thousands of steps that you will take in a half marathon.
Mitch Hauschildt, MA, ATC, CSCS is a seasoned RockTape FMT instructor, collegiate athletic trainer, father of four and strong believer that movement is medicine. Ten years ago, Mitch was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, changing how he moves, feels and approaches life. Recently, he set his sights on running the New York City Half Marathon in an effort to support the Tisch MS Research Center of New York. In this blog series, we are following Mitch’s training and learning how he uses RockTape and TriggerPoint tools to help him reach his goals. To follow Mitch’s journey and support Team Tisch, visit mitchfightsms.com.
*Not clinically proven for all injuries. Products are not intended to replace professional medical advice or treatment.