retro running
pp. Running backwards as a form of exercise.
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Getting started requires some forward thinking. Aside from the fact that you are going to attract some bemused glances should you step backwards out of your front door and proceed to retro-run down the local high street, there is the significant drawback of a lack of hindsight. Professor Jon Wang, an orthopaedic surgeon at the University of Arizona and an adviser to Runner's World magazine, recommends newcomers to start somewhere safe such as a track or familiar road where you will avoid potholes, road signs and other hazards.

"Go slowly, taking small steps at first, and stay in control," he says. "Let the ball of the foot contact first, then allow the heel to touch just briefly. If this feels OK, repeat the one-minute segments two or three times, jogging forwards slowly in-between." After a few weeks he promises you will feel less anxious about collisions and can begin to step up your retro running to five or six minutes in total.
—Peta Bee, “The great leap backward,” The Guardian, June 08, 2006
Timothy (Bud) Badyna has broken world records. He ran a marathon in under four hours. He finished a 10K race in 45 minutes.

Wait a minute, you say, that's not so fast.

Right. But Badyna set those records running backward. …

Backward walking and running dates back to the 1970s, when forward-looking runners practised it while injured. Doctors later recommended it as part of physical therapy, and it's often used by baseball pitchers or track runners in preliminary warm-ups.

Also called retro-running, it's been popular for years in Europe, where races vary from sprints to the 42-kilometre marathon.
—Daniel Yee, “Some runners look forward to going backward,” Associated Press, May 25, 2006
1985 (earliest)
Ron Austin, a fitness instructor from Lexington, Kentucky, came up with his forward-thinking idea when he was sidelined for a hamstring injury. During an afternoon at the track, he found he could still keep up with his wife's slower jogging if he ran backward—and he soon discovered that the retrograde motion was much less painful than a forward spring. …

Don't let this news send you backstepping out the door too quickly, though. Litvak suggests that eager trainees begin by walking backward for about 25 percent of their usual workout, or a quarter mile for every mile forward. (Retro running should only be done for about 100 yards at a time.)
—“Back-Tracking,” Health, October 01, 1985
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