A tucked-in butt and a swan-like neck

The first thing that we were told at Saturday’s workshop was that it was not a magic wand that would transform our running styles in a day.  Instead it was an introduction to some techniques and drills that would gradually make our running more efficient.

The second thing we were told was that if we focussed primarily on form and then on distance then the speed would follow as a by-product.

When working on form, the suggestion is to pick two things to focus on each run.  For the first third of the run, think about focus 1 for a minute and then nothing for a minute and then focus 1 for a minute and then nothing for a minute.  For the second third of the run do the same thing but with focus 2.  For the last part of the run, do the same thing but with both focusses.

For today’s run, I concentrated on two of the posture focusses:

  • a tucked-in butt; and
  • a swan-like neck.

These, I hasten to add, are not the offiicial terms (which are probably copyright in any case).  These are my interpretations of them.  The object is to lengthen and straighten the spine to form a nice, sturdy supportive column.

The tucked-in butt

Whenever I try on a dress in a shop changing room, I look in the mirror and think “gosh, what a round belly and is my butt really that big?”.  At which point I pull in my tummy and tuck in my butt and think “that’s better!”.  This focus is about trying to make that flattering changing-room posture the norm.

The swan-like neck

After a day at the computer, my head and neck sink into my torso and my shoulders hunch up.  The exaggerated form of this is the complete neck-less-ness that comes when someone (okay, my evil other half) breathes down the back of my neck.  In contrast, the swan-like neck is long and expansive.  It’s about reaching up with the crown of your head and trying to make yourself 5ft 5in not 5ft 3in.

Of course, as I think I’ve mentioned before, I have the attention span of a gnat and my mind flits everywhere.  So if you were able to hear my thoughts as I ran home, you would have been hard pushed to tell whether it was a minute with or without focus, or what the focusses were.  I guess that’s just something else to work on.


About abradypus

A Bradypus or Sloth am I, I live a life of ease, contented not to do or die but idle as I please; ... [Michael Flanders and Donald Swann]
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8 Responses to A tucked-in butt and a swan-like neck

  1. travellinghopefully says:

    Imagine a piece of string tied to the crown of your head, if someone pulls on that string (upwards, obviously) it lifts up your neck, your rib cage and your abdomen. That’s what our yoga teacher says anyway, and she has lovely posture. Sounds like it was a really useful workshop!

  2. Andy says:

    I’m not evil!

    You just have a nice neck to kiss…and (ok, slightly more than) occasionally breath on.

  3. I tuck my butt into my trousers along with my shirt and my belly every morning. If it all spills over a bit, I use a shoe horn.

  4. shazruns says:

    God so much to remember I would be sure to fall over and would never know what I should be focussing on, good luck, but please remember to keep putting one foot in front of the other

  5. oldbagrunning says:


  6. I’d have to run in an open space to try that or I’d run into a tree or lamppost while trying to concentrate!

  7. fortnightflo says:

    Hm that sounds interesting. But I do now have a vision of you running with a piece of string coming out of the top of your head!

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