How do I train to work backwards

Running backwards - exercise for the mind and body

There are runners who run faster backwards than most of us forwards. First, take a look at how Dresden's Thomas Dold experienced his world championship title and the world record in backward running over 3,000 m in 2014. 11: 11.76 min - backwards!

We think you should give it a try: 1. because it's fun and 2. because running the other way around is even interesting in terms of training methodology. How you can make it a training variant and what you should be aware of.

Running backwards as an interesting change in training

If you want to design your running training in a completely different way, then just run backwards! This might feel weird and look weird at first, but running backwards is a great exercise for coordination, balance, and posture. Just make sure that there is no lantern behind you 😉

The French Christian Grollé, who has been involved with this type of running since 1978, is considered to be the pioneer of backward running. Running backwards is a special body experience that means balance and variety for muscles, joints and brain. Due to the reversed sequence of movements, the right hemisphere in particular is activated. So you sharpen your senses and improve your body awareness. The increased vigilance while running and the fact that both halves of the brain are working improves the blood circulation in the brain. New connections between individual brain cells form, the so-called synapse formation. Incidentally, this helps to prevent degenerative diseases in old age such as Alzheimer's. Muscular imbalances can be reduced or avoided, because running backwards puts more strain on those muscles that are not activated enough during normal running.

What to watch out for when walking backwards

A sports field with a stadium circuit is ideal. If you can't find something like this in your immediate vicinity, find a route that is flat and free of obstacles. Allow your brain and body to get used to the movement. The increased alertness will tire your mind and body more quickly. So that you don't trip over your own feet, start slowly and with a few meters. Or try to do individual exercises from the running ABC backwards. Look alternately over your left and right shoulder and try to walk upright and dynamically as possible. If you train with friends, you can take turns running backwards. The other runs forward and can thus also describe the path.

Important note, protect yourself from overload and injury! You will already feel a round of the stadium (400m) backwards in the evening. So, as always: no heroic deeds and get to the finish line healthy!

In summary, the positive aspects of running backwards:

  • improves coordination, balance and posture,
  • stimulates the right hemisphere,
  • promotes concentration,
  • Body is more upright (spine, center of gravity),
  • other muscles are used and thus strengthened,
  • develops a better body feeling, better running economy,
  • Running shoes wear out more evenly,
  • pleasant and fun for two.

Christian Grollé: "Moving backwards represents one of the greatest physiological, psychological, athletic, spiritual and sociological revolutions in human adventure." Running backwards is an enrichment for every runner.


Categories RunningTags Running backwards