Can the art of running backwards be good for your health?

Orientation course? There is no big forest nearby to learn. Sand marathon? There is no beach or desert nearby to compete in this race. Extreme kayaking? No paddling and above all a slightly weak heart when danger approaches. In recent months, in this section out of the field, we have sent you all over the world. But, since there was always a “but”, it was impossible for us to slip a little in the shoes of these athletes.

And suddenly, when the word “retrorunning,” or back to mind, came to accompany our good January 1st decisions, we didn’t hesitate. We put on shorts and sneakers and dressed in backpacks with two of our best discipline ambassadors, Sandra Corqueira (49), multiple world champion and Aaron Yoder (36), world mile record holder (1, 6 km). Because, yes, retrorunning has its heroes. Even if you don’t necessarily have to.

“I only fell twice”

“I love to run and collect regular races, whether it’s from 50 meters to 100 kilometres, says the Spaniard. One day in 2007, I discovered a replay event, and I went there without knowing what it was. It was the hardest 1500 meters of my life.” , the beginnings were more serendipitous: ‘We had a fairly inexpensive treadmill in the family, which wasn’t going fast enough for me, because I was running pretty fast. I was so frustrated, because I wanted to train hard. So I started running. Laterally, then backward, because it was harder.”

Hard on the body, because the muscles are not accustomed to it, and also difficult to manage the race, especially for medium and long distances. Yes, how do you manage yourself when running backwards? Well, in athletics tracks, we focus on the trail features and the people at the edge of the track also act as guides. “In my career, I’ve only fallen twice,” admits Sandra Corqueira. Including once when a Polish woman bumped into me. But that didn’t stop me from winning the race. “

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“It shall remain a supplementary educational practice”

But it is not all suffering. If our players have closed their eyes (almost) at this discipline, it is also because it has given them a physical rest. “I was getting injured very frequently when running from the front, especially in the knee,” Sandra Corqueira explains. But since I was terrified, my injuries have decreased dramatically. According to several scientific studies from universities in United State, in the UK, in Italia Or in South Africa, it has been shown that with re-running, you burn 30% more calories than running on the face, and that this improves balance and neurological function. “

Traumatologist and sports physician at the Drew Clinic in Paris, Jean-Christophe Mainaud, is keen to put these studies into perspective: “Why does re-race burn more calories? Because it is an exercise that causes more energy expenditure. If you have to cycle 100 km: You’ll lose more calories on a mountain bike than on a bike, although the latter will be the easiest to ride. Yes, it has benefits, but it should still be a supplemental educational exercise.”

“Base for general physical preparation”

Moreover, following this interesting principle, Renaud Longuèvre, former coach of Ladji Doucouré or Muriel Hurtis, uses retrorunning: “We introduce it into the ranges, regardless of discipline (sprint, middle distance, long distance). This is done especially during Warm-up, by activating the cardiovascular system. It serves as the basis for general physical preparation.”

The three advantages of replay according to Renaud Longuèvre:

  • Engaging antagonist muscles in all parts of the body that suddenly become stimuli. Muscle functions are reversed.
  • Therefore, combating activity-induced asymmetry and imbalance is an important injury prevention undertaking.
  • It is interesting in terms of coordination and motor intelligence.
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“The human body is not made for this long-distance practice, otherwise the eyes would be behind the head, quite simply, continues Dr. Miniot. It’s not something that makes sense. Biomechanics of the human body. For example, at the base, the calf is a pusher muscle, and there it becomes a shock-absorbing muscle. “

“Sport is designed to explore the potential of the human body”

Aaron Yoder responded, “I can understand what he’s saying, and yes, physiologically, we’re all built to move forward. But this is a sport. It’s not normal for the human body to lift eight times its weight while lifting weights, or to hit it as fast as in a ball American foot. But man is trying to do things that are not possible. The sport is about exploring the potential of the human body.”

Sandra Corqueira is a good example. The Spaniard will attempt to win the gold medal in the world re-race championships, usually scheduled for next summer after several delays due to the health situation, at a marathon distance. Yes, 42.195 km sprint back. And don’t laugh too much if I pass you in the next race you’re competing “head-to-head”. “For me, that’s not a goal, but it’s true that it sometimes happens,” she slips away. Do you also see his smile?

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