Why do I run with T-Rex arms?

Yes, you read the title correctly. I have some major arm swing issues and I forgot about it until I ran outside yesterday on our unusually warm day and had an actual shadow from all of the sun. I took this picture after my run to remind myself to talk about arm swing:


It was the warmest day on record in a looong time here in the Hudson Valley- 70 degrees! I took Dexter out for a walk and then did a short loop in my neighborhood. As I was running, I looked down at my shadow and saw this:


I tend to swing my arms across my chest which is bad form and uses more energy than is necessary. Not that it is a huge deal for me in terms of expended energy because I am not running marathons, but I want good habits and good form. When I really think about my arm swing being relaxed with a forward to backward motion, I end up tensing my shoulders and pulling my arms in really close to my body…. like a T-Rex. I couldn’t help but laugh at my own shadow. I am working on better running form and I need to get my arm swing under control. Now when I sprint, I pump my arms for all they are worth and I am really not concerned about crossing them in front of my chest. Whatever makes my feet turn over faster! And I know I look like this:


My hair even looks like his when I wake up in the morning. I love Ace Ventura. I think we are kindred spirits or maybe spirit animal is the better term.

My legs were a little tired from the sprints the day before so I enjoyed a walk with Dexter in the sunshine to warm-up and then I ran the small loop in my neighborhood. The weather was great, but there was a strong wind. I was excited to run the loop because looking back on the Map my Run app, Dec. 4 was the last time I ran outside! Over 2 months of only treadmill running. I wanted to see how it felt to have some elevation change, wind, sun and pavement after more than 2 months of distracted running on the treadmill while watching movies. When I ran the loop in December, my average pace was 8:52. Yesterday I ran with an average pace of 8:40…. in the wind!


There is a long, but not steep hill that used to kill me when we first moved to NY. Now, that hill is no big deal! I have always had good experiences of maintaining running performance with a lot of treadmill work, but I haven’t had numbers to compare in a long time. I will say today that my quads are pretty sore from sprints 2 days ago and the outdoor run yesterday. Treadmills don’t help me nearly as much with hill training. I really need to be outside for that so I will definitely be focusing on hill training this Spring.

I was ready to eat some of my left over chicken from the night before. In case you missed it, check out yesterday’s post for a versatile, large batch chicken recipe with 5 ideas on how to prepare it. I saved Buffalo Chicken to have in a wrap, but then I remembered I still had potato rolls and I didn’t want to waste them so sandwich on a roll instead and it was tasty!

buffalo chicken

Perfect lunch! I went back for seconds of the pasta salad. Super D loves pasta salad so I make a big batch and she has it for lunch at school. She doesn’t like cheese so I skip the cheese and add olives to her pasta salad.

Today is a rest day and the kids were released from school early because we are getting some sleet and snow in the middle of the day. 70 degrees yesterday and snow today! Hmmmm…..

I’ll be back over the weekend with the new meal plan!

Do you have issues with proper arm swing? If you aren’t sure, watch your shadow as you run! 🙂



1 comment

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  1. pglooney

    This made me chuckle! I think my arm swing is good, but my mom was a professional athlete and thought me. “Pocket-to-chin” which has stuck with me. That chicken looks so good by the way!


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