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WHY Running Performance is for EVERY Runner (with tight hips)

What if I told you with ABSOLUTE CERTIANTY that running performance IS for you?

Here me out.

You're a runner.

And you want to run better, be better,...whatever that may look like!

With me so far?\

Then what you're looking for is…running performance.

Not convinced?

Let's bust some running performance myths real fast.

Running performance looks like:

"I have to run faster"

"I have to want to run further to need it"

"Running performance is for those runners who are trying to get a crazy PR"

"Only runners looking for a BQ need running performance"

"Running performance is going to take soooo much time! And I just don't have that.."

Let me stop you right there.

There's nothing wrong with having a time, PR, distance-based, BQ running goal, etc! In fact, all of those ARE great reasons to seek out running performance.

But just because those aren't your immediate running goals, doesn't mean you can't benefit. Because in reality, to meet ANY of those amazing, big aspirations, you have take smaller steps to achieve those bigger goals!

That's why I want to challenge YOU to Dare to Train Differently and redefine running performance.

Let's dive in!

Part 1: Redefine Running Performance

You've already done your own running performance if you've:

  • you've every debriefed after a race or workout

  • figured out what you needed to adjust or change to do better next time

  • Decided to strive for specific running goals,...etc

Looking for HOW to figure out what you did well on and what didn't go so hot your last training block/race? Check out my blog post HERE (off season/better runner blog post)

Seem too easy?

Running performance is for any runner who wants to run better.

You've run a race.

You're training for another one.

You probably want to do even better this next race, right?!

Making a plan to make that happen: that's running performance.

Let it be easy! Simple is NOT bad. Often, simple is effective.

Part 2: Let It Be Easy
  • Pick ONE running performance goal.

  • Make an action plan

  • Work the plan.

  • Re-assess to see whether you got the results/met the goal you wanted.

That's it, running fit fam.


Your RUNNING PERFORMANCE GOAL: Say goodbye to tight hip flexors

  • Because they slow you down

  • they leave you feeling sore and terrible for days

  • they take a toll on your long runs.

ACTION PLAN: Dare to Train Differently.

To get a result, you have to measure it.

And to get a DIFFERENT result, you have to do something different.

(common knowledge, I know. That's the beauty of this.)

How do you know whether your action plan is working?

You measure the results with a test.

Your TEST: Try Side sitting on both sides. And get ready to pay attention to your body!

  • Does one hip feel tighter than the other?

  • Is this the hip that's giving you more trouble and feel tight during training?

  • And even if your hips feel great and this positions isn't a problem for you, by doing this now, you're establishing a baseline at the beginning of your training!

Fix your tight hips Exercises: Complete this circuit 2-3x

  • For more hip mobility exercises and set/reps, grab my FREE Running Guide HERE:

  • Shin boxes

  • Crawl <>squat

  • The World's Greatest Stretch/Spiderman Stretch


After completing those hip exercises, do you side sitting test again and note:

  • Did anything change?

  • Does it feel easier on one side than the other?

  • Do things feel less pinchy or stiff?

  • If it felt easy before: does it still feel easy?

  • Bonus Points: Do your test and re-test in front of the mirror: do your hips look even?


Time yourself above. The test + exercise + re-test should take 5 to 10mins MAX.

Pretty easy, right?

Now comes the hard part: commit!

  • Add this entire circuit (test + exercise + re-test) to the beginning and/or end of every run starting a 1.5-2 weeks BEFORE you begin long runs. A

  • nd don't forget to keep doing these during the weeks of your long runs.

  • Because remember, your goal: NO tight hips during or after your long runs!


Ok, let's say it's been 2 weeks (at least) of progressively longer…long runs.

Time to check in.

  • How are your hips feeling? Better, worse, no different compared to last training cycle? Have you completely, partially, or NOT met your subjective running goal of no tight hip flexors?

  • How is your TEST going? You know, the side sitting one. Is that getting easier or feeling more compared side to side?

  • Did you COMMIT? Can you say that you completed your running performance hip mobility exercise circuit at least 60% of the time before each run?

  • Did you feel your learned about your body? What did you learn?

PART 3: Running Performance: Beyond the Numbers

Can you start to see how the assessment starts with focusing on black and white goals: did you meet your running performance goal?

But gradually, it can become about MORE than that.

Running performance can go beyond the numbers.

Your performance goals become a part of the process, a journey. Instead of solely focused on objective outcomes, it can also become about learning your own body and what it responds to…and what it doesn't.

So even if you "miss" your goal, you haven't failed. You've learned.


Your hips are still tight during and after long runs despite regular hip mobility work.

Running performance goal: FAILED.

OR is it?

What you've addressed with those specific exercises, is mobility at the hip joint itself.

  • And that didn't work.

  • So your hips are getting tight….from something else!

  • (hint hint: it's probably a touch of core weakness ;) )

Knowing where you were is just as helpful as knowing where you want to go.

Because now, you have data.

You know what works and what doesn't work.

All because, you Dared To Train Differently.

Get excited running fit fam, because we're going to continue to deep dive into running performance and how you can apply it to your running right now!

So leave it in the comments below: what running performance goal do you have that you want to hide away saying, "oh that's too small…that doesn't count".
Because I promise you, IT DOES.

"I just want to run a 10k again."

"I want to make it through marathon training without my feet hurting this time"

"I want to finally feel stronger!"

These are YOUR goals. And they matter!

Until next time, Dare to Train Differently,

Marie Whitt, PT, DPT //

P.S. Looking for that FREE Running guide to cure tight hips? Click HERE!

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