Meet The World Champion Backwards Runner

Jan 11, 2016 By Hannah Austin

In the spring of 2009, Garret Doherty, of Dublin, Ireland, went for a jog. The time had recently changed, and the sun was finally re-emerging after a long, cold winter. In fact, Doherty enjoyed the sun’s rays so much that when he came to a part of the path where the sun was no longer in his face, he began to run backwards. That was 7 years ago, and ever since then, he’s been hooked on running the “wrong way.” Doherty can cover a mile in just over seven minutes, and was named World Champion of the sport three years in a row. While it may seem like a bizarre endeavor, there are actually quite a few health benefits to what he and other backwards runners are doing.

According to Doherty, running backwards burns three times the amount of calories as running forwards, as the body is forced to use more muscles. It’s also good practice for anyone suffering from knee issues, or wanting to prevent impact-related injuries. And, if you’re looking to strengthen your core, it’s a fun and effective way to tighten abdominal muscles.

So, what are you waiting for? Lace up and start running backwards! 

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