Monday, July 2, 2012

Race Pics, raise the question

What am I doing with my hands? Air guitar, air guns, conducting music?
Approaching the finish line at the Coronado Ride and Stride.
The bottom line on arm position for distance running is that tension in the arms, wrists, and hands is wasted energy. The consensus on form for most people seems to be:  (1) keep elbows at 90 degree angle, more or less; (2) maintain a relaxed, low swing; (3) keep hands in a loose fist; and (4) don't allow your left hand to cross over the right side of the body, and vice-versa for the right hand.

But this little runner is not most people, so don't take the picture as an illustration of this advice. Ever since Penny pointed out my air guitaring ways in my San Diego Rock N Roll pics, I have been thinking more about my arms and hands while running. I observed the 5K and 10K runners with their loose fists during the U.S. Olympic Trials. And I tried to mimic the form. But I think it takes too much energy and creates tension all the way up my arms. So for me, what works is to lightly touch my thumb to my middle finger and keep my fingers relaxed and more or less flopping around however they want. 

Also, the picture was taken nearing the finish line, during my "kick." As you speed up, for example, at the end of a race (where you attempt to buzz by and narrowly defeat all those who you've been running with during the duration of the race), you will naturally start pumping your arms more, as I am above.

Collecting third place metal.

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