For most mere mortal human beings amongst us, the thought of running One mile may likely be daunting enough of a task. How about making it even more difficult by doing it backwards?! Bethany College in Kansas, USA’s Track Coach Aaron Yoder recently decided to take on the challenge and shows us what can be achieved if you set your mind to it.
Running backwards, in comparison to the usual forwards kind utilises slightly different muscles in the legs and lower body and so the kind of training required would certainly be needing some minor adjustments in addition to the cardio and stamina training.
“I put a training plan that was designed to enhance my backwards running.” Aaron told us.
“I trained exclusively in backwards running for 6 weeks and then made a plan to attempt the challenge… simple as that!”
When talking about the specifics of his regime, he told us:
“For 8 weeks I would do about 45 minutes of backwards running a day and 45 min of weight training a day as well. The backwards running training consisted of one day for sprint work, a day for speed endurance, a day for a tempo 2 mile, a day for a long run and a day for hill training. I still kept one day for running forwards to keep those muscles firing too. I always warm up for about 30 min before workouts to stretch and enhance my core. I believe warm ups are the key to success!” he said.
As you can see in the above video, Aaron smashed the 6 minute mark by clocking an impressive 5 minutes 54 seconds at the Lindsborg based college Athletics track.
When asked about the motivation for doing something so unique; many would say ‘unusual’ even.
“My goal is always to inspire people to get fit. If seeing what I did with the power of my mind and training, and regardless of the kind of challenge it is you are successful with, the aim should be to go out and achieve your goal and also get fit at the same time!”
Yoder recalls how he actually first began running backwards as a kid, he said:
“It was a way for me to get a better workout at home on the treadmill we had. Then I started running backwards just for fun and my mom would ride along with me outside on her bike.”
Whilst training for this quirky running challenge, Yoder discovered that there is actually a community of backward runners and also a world championship that he plans to compete in this summer in Essen, Germany.
He hopes maybe someday it could even become an Olympic event.
“You never know,” he said.
“Ultimate Frisbee is a recognised Olympic sport… so like everything we should believe when we set our minds to it; It’s a possibility!!”
We asked Aaron what his message for the world would be, and to anyone who hears about his highly original achievement?
“Always be motivated by self-improvement, exercise and physical activity for your mind, body and all-round health and wellbeing. After all, we have one body and we must do our best to look after it in our own ways daily. And find your own way of doing things… there’s nothing wrong with that at all!”
Nothing wrong with that all!!
VIDEO CREDIT: Jim Turner / Edited by Guavo Media.
Special thanks to Aaron Yoder.