Getting my butt in gear

I have a feeling I am going to get tons of funny spam for that post title, but oh well! One of the things that I really need to work on in order to get faster and stay injury free with running is my hips/glutes. Almost all of my injuries stem from bio-mechanical issues – especially relating to my hips. When I went for my running assessment in July, my PT noted that I have significant hip drop when I run. I watched the video of my running style and it was pretty apparent. The whole IT band issue right before the marathon was a result of my form and some muscle weakness. I knew about these issues, but because marathon training takes so much time out of my schedule, I will totally admit that I slacked a bit with some of my hip/glute strength exercises. I did start running with an increased cadence and that has helped tremendously with calf pain/shin splints.

Which is why fine-tuning my running form and working on those weak muscles is a priority for winter training. As I mentioned yesterday, I had two runs this week. One I did not focus on my form, the other I did. You know exactly which run felt so much better: the one where I concentrated on what my legs/hips were doing. I’ve also been doing my exercises every day and I am already noticing a difference. I told one of my friends that I could finally feel my butt!

Yesterday before track practice, we had a little “coaches training” with the younger coaches and our head coach. We went through many of the warm-up/technical drills that we run with our groups – but felt what it was like to be actually doing the drill, rather than just watching. We also get told about why we do the drills from a bio-mechanics/human kinetics point of view. The knowledge helps me better explain the drills to my athletes, and give them pointers. Of course, what was noticed right away: my hips/pelvis placement and not using my glutes. But, in doing the drills I was told what to do in order to use my butt and again, like the other day, I could feel those muscles finally working. I also did my first runs on the track since May. Running fast felt very funny, as if my legs were wildly flying about. I’m glad no one was taping me…..yikes.

Although that brings up another point – that it is really hard for me to correct my form when I am just by myself. If I could see what I was doing, I would probably be able to tell myself exactly what to do to fix my form. I do this all the time with my athletes as I can see little errors being made and give suggestions/feedback on how to improve. Ideally, I would really like to find a running coach that would help me with my form. I can easily create my own training plans and don’t really have an issue following them – but I really need a pair of eyes to watch what I’m doing, and then give suggestions on drills/exercises to fix the issues. Any suggestions for Ottawa area coaches?

Ideally, the winter is the time to get working on my form. My running goals for the spring are to finally dive into the 25:xx time for the 5K and run a sub-60 (if not sub 55:xx) for the 10K. In order for me to get faster and not hurt, I need to fix my running form and get stronger. It is time to get my butt in gear! Literally!


Happy Friday and I hope you wallets got a reasonable workout during Black Friday! 



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  1. Dana @ Running on Coffee

    Girl, I’m right there with you on the glutes! I struggled with IT band issues and now what feels like runner’s knee both on my left side, so I’m starting to think that it’s a muscle imbalance issue. Hopefully we can both get strong and get back to running better asap 🙂

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      It probably is! It seems to be a very common problem!

  2. Lisa @ Lulus Big Adventure

    I reeeeeally need to work on my glutes this winter. It’s funny, so many people are like OMG I need to work on my butt to get it nice and toned! And runners are like, “I need to work on my butt to avoid injury and help my form.” (I like our motivation better!)
    Lisa @ Lulus Big Adventure recently posted…Weekend Trip to The Great Ocean RoadMy Profile

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      I like our motivation better as well! I think that the glutes are sole cause of so many injuries! A few people in the running-blog world have mentioned issues with this area and then having resulting ITB and knee issues. I think that Janae from HRG had the same issue, she wasn’t using her glutes at all. My PT and my head coach at the club (who have both stared at my butt for too long) have both said I’m not using those muscles at all. It is going to take a lot of work to correct my posture too!


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