It’s Saturday morning, cold, and I haven’t brought enough layers with me to training and most of the training today doesn’t involve running. Okay, so if it doesn’t involve much running it must be weights, circuits or plyometrics surely?

Nope, as part of my training to improve my running, I have tyre flipping.

What?

Yes – tyre flipping.

Tyre flipping – seriously?

Yes, those are my thoughts exactly. How is tyre flipping supposed to be relevant to running in any way, shape or form?

It was certainly a form of resistance training, but it was an unusual form.

I thought, maybe it was because tyre flipping engaged the whole body. That was the only reason I could think of, but either way, I was placing full trust in the coach and his training and I was going to take on whatever training he gave me.

Damn those tyres are big

I looked at the tyres and they were massive. My first thoughts were ‘there is no way I am flipping those tyres over – they will crush me’.

Tyre weighing around 200kg

Flipping massive tyres in pairs

The two tyres I was looking at were weighing somewhere in the range of 180kg – 230kg.

Honestly, I could not believe that people my age could flip tyres that big but I knew it was possible. Maybe I knew I couldn’t do it right now, but I certainly hoped that by pressing on with the new training I was being given that I would develop the overall functional body strength my body needed to flip one of those tyres, even just once.

(Tyre) flipping mad

After performing our warm up and drills we lined up in threes and fours and began to flip smaller tyres over a distance of what I estimate to be about 100m altogether. I flipped the tyre over once – it required a fair bit of engagement in the muscles, more than I expected for the small tyre I had been given. It became harder a lot quicker.

I can imagine my tyre must’ve weighed around 50kg, but some of the other athletes were flipping tyres perhaps around 80kg to even 100kg and they were passing me by. As I heaved and engaged the entirety of my body and put my back into it (literally!) I struggled, but kept going. Some girls in the group were surprisingly good at this, one of the girls I was racing against was flipping a tyre bigger than mine and she still smashed me.

What even is this training?

Me, tyre flipping for the first time

Round two came and I managed to match my time. My whole body ached after that.

And then we had to flip the 180kg and 230kg tyres. Most athletes training did it by themselves, performing as many flips as possible over a time of 2 minutes, but I paired up to do the flips because I lacked the physical strength to perform the movement. Honestly, I felt so weak doing the tyres and it sparked a fire inside me to get stronger. It was my first time doing it, and I hoped that next time I would be able to do it faster.

This type of training was quite unusual, but I have no doubt it is effective for working the whole body. My legs were very tight in the evening after and I’m looking forward to a rest day after.

Do you have any unusual training methods and would you consider tyre flipping as part of your training?