Tag Archives: Hills

Run with your arms!

This morning I was out doing a light run. The rain was coming down and the temperature lingered around 48 degrees. During times like this I slow down and take in the scenery; plus today was a light run before my long run tomorrow. Other runners were out braving the conditions, especially ones that had incorrect arm swing. As runners passed me going in the opposite direction, I could not help notice their lack of arm movement or extreme side-to-side motion.

Years ago when I first started running, I can remember my cross country coach teaching us to always swing our arms while running. Coach William Chavis taught us to swing our arms forwards and backwards, mirroring our leg movements. To this day I can remember him yelling at me from the top of a hill during a race, “Philip, swing those arms- get up this hill.” Ever since that moment I have always been conscious about proper arm movement.

Here are some tips to live by-

  1. Relax your shoulders, keep your arms at 90 degree angle
  2. Keep arms close to your body
  3. Swing your arms forwards and backwards opposite from your leg movements. Left leg goes forward- right arm goes forward and vice versa
  4. Your arms should move forward and back, not across your body
  5. If running up hill, shorten your stride and swing your arms a little faster

Apply these tips to running or walking long distances, and you will gain speed while reducing fatigue.


36th Annual Virginia 10 Miler

It’s that time of year again! Over the last decade, my family and I have participated in the Virginia 10 Miler, held in Lynchburg, Virginia. This is not your average 10 mile race. Take a look at the race map, and you will see there are some gruesome hills.

Virginia 10 Miler Course Elevation Map
Virginia 10 Miler Course Elevation Map

The first time I ran the race was in 1994 with my father. The following year, my sister and mom joined in. Over the next five years, we all participated together. During my first year of college (2001), I went on a running hiatus and missed two years of the race. I returned in 2003, and have been running ever since. After my sister went to college (2002), she abandoned running completely, but still has some awesome times under her belt. My mom has scaled back to the 4 Miler, but still enthusiastically signs up each year to stay consistent.

Neither of my parents are serious runners, but they are in great shape. About a month before the race, I always ask, “So, how’s training for the 10 Miler going?” Of course I get the same reply, “Yeah, we have been working out.”

Here is a 2008 picture of my mom (Jeanette Ciccarello), dad (Anthony Ciccarello), and me (Philip Ciccarello) – Post-run.

Virginia 10 Miler 2008 - Family Picture
Virginia 10 Miler 2008 - Family Picture

This year there are over 1700 people registered for the 10 & 4 Miler, the largest participating group yet! I can’t wait to get back to my hometown, and run some hills.