/ Tight/Tense Shoulders and Upper Back While Distance Running

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MarkRoe - on 08 May 2014
I've been doing regular 15k runs recently, and often find that the part of me which aches the most during the last 5 or so kilometres is my upper back and shoulders. I'm aware that these areas are quite tense when I run, which is probably part of the problem, but I can't seem to physically stop them from being so.

Does anyone had any similar issues or have any advice?

Thanks
Liam M - on 08 May 2014
In reply to MarkRoe: Are you aware of why you tense up your shoulders? Good form should leave your upper body relaxed, so I'd suggest some form focused sessions.

The two regions that can help this are short and very fast reps, and long very easy ones.

For the former the easiest is to look at strides or 200-400m reps off pretty much full recovery. Try to consciously relax as you accelerate to just less than sprint pace, looking ahead and keeping the turn over high. It's hard to run very fast whilst tense. If you still find it hard there are some specific drills, but I think I'd fail to describe them.

The other is just to go out reasonably long, but again consciously relaxed. Don't worry about pace and eventual distance, but from early on try to feel the effort is easy and concentrate on a smooth easy form. If you're form starts falling apart either slow down until it becomes easy again, or stop the session there.

It can take a little time, but you can waste so much energy if tense it's worth working on an easy form.
MarkRoe - on 09 May 2014
In reply to MarkRoe:

That's helpful stuff, thankyou kindly :)
steelbru - on 09 May 2014
In reply to MarkRoe:

You could also try just shaking out your arms ( just for 5 seconds as you run, let them hang loose and "shake" ) every mile or so - I sometimes do that if I feel shoulders are getting a bit tense
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 09 May 2014
In reply to MarkRoe:
Are you doing any upper body training within 24hrs of your run? Are you clenching
your fists when running? When you clench your fists you autumatically tense your biceps, shoulders, chest. i think its called irradiation.
Post edited at 17:05
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gerryneely - on 09 May 2014
In reply to MarkRoe:

Suffered from same problem on and off. Discovered by accident that having a hot shower before heading out for a run relaxes my arms and shoulders. The runs feels a lot better with no pain. Worth a shot.

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