January 2019 - Recovery Runs

The Question

January's question was from kramer in Somerset, whose arms are giving him grief:

Bit of a weird one maybe. My local parkrun finishes with a hill which I always sprint up at full pelt. Afterwards my elbows - or the area just above the elbows - gets really sore. Anything I can do to stop this?

- kramer, Somerset

Simon Loughran
Simon - Middle-distance runner and athletics coach

“Arms become much more important when sprinting or running up hill. The fact that you're feeling the strain is probably a good sign - it means you're making good use of your arms.

I always tell athletes that they should focus on elbow drive rather than arm drive when they're running hard. Think "down and back" and you're half way there.

My recommendation to get the triceps really ready for your final effort is simple wall press ups/push ups. These won't be physically demanding, but will target the problem area well. 2-3 x 10 should be sufficient.

You can follow this up with some gentle elbow massage while you're standing around during the pre-run briefing.”

Our Member's Answer

January's member's answer was from Jess. Jess wants you to warm up well:

Jess - feeling warm

“You're probably just not warming up well enough. I was a sprinter many moons ago and it was drilled into us how important it is to warm up the arms as well as the legs. I won't bore you with the details because there is so much out there now that you can find yourself, but five minutes working on the arms could do the job.”

Thanks, Jess. It's always handy to hear from somebody who's tried and tested.

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