This isn’t about running with company and whether your running partner talks too much! Its all about putting less shock through your joints and legs.
Why Do It:
By putting less shock through your legs, you can run further, faster and easier. The main barrier to increasing volume or speed is soreness post training which can lead to more serious injury. If we can minimise the amount of force going through the legs, then we can work on moving faster.
How To Do It:
1. Land under your hips – if your feet land in front of your body (over stride) then you increase the amount of shock going through your joints. Not only do you incur the vertical impact (your weight pressing down) but you also add a horizontal component to the impact. It doesn’t matter if you are striking on your heel or your forefoot, you will still increase the shock going through your legs – and it will make the sound of your steps LOUDER! To work on this, concentrate on landing under your hips (doesn’t matter if heel/midfoot/toe strike) and pushing backwards.
2. Keep your upper body smooth – the more that your body moves up and down, the more energy is being wasted and not travelling in a forward direction. There are two elements to this: push backward (rather than down) with your feet and take shorter, faster steps. By keeping your cadence higher (for the same speed), your torso won’t bounce up and down to the same degree, and the downward movement won’t encourage a higher impact on your feet (and therefore you will be quieter!)
3. Maintain posture – the buzzword of the last few weeks within my blogs; and a key for life as a whole. By maintaining a series of straight lines through your body you are able to absorb shock more efficiently (rather than concentrating it in particular weak areas) and also use your strength more effectively. All this leads to being a quieter, smoother and more effective runner!
Sound is wasted energy – those who remember anything from GCSE (or O-Level?!) physics will know that energy cannot be increased or lost, it is just changed from one form into another. As runners – as sports people full stop – we want to make sure that as much of the energy we expend becomes kinetic energy (driving us forward) rather than sound and heat which is a waste.