What Does Your Running Sound Like?
Many runners like to run listening to music but they may be missing out on an important indicator of how they're running.
Next time you're going for a run, leave the iPod at home and listen to your feet hitting the ground as you run. Do they make a slapping sound? Are you a loud runner? (and I don't mean your breathing) Or do you make minimal sound as your feet strike the ground?
Excessive noise during foot strike is a sign that your technique might not be optimal. Sound is simply a form of energy and too much sound as your foot hits the ground means that you're hitting the ground with too much force.
You're either using too much energy for your pace or you're not absorbing the impact forces correctly. Which means you'll run out of gas sooner or you risk of injury has dramatically increased.
I highlighted the value of listening to your running during a recent session of Core Running Clinics I've been presenting with the Run Inn.
When we were doing our warm-up runs to the training field, I noticed the group making a lot of noise as their feet hit the ground.
We first did some foot and ankle drills. Then I had them head out for a short run during which they practiced running with relaxed ankles and landing on their forefoot.
The difference in sound level was amazing.
When I asked the group if they heard anything different, the runners were surprised to notice how quiet the group was. Most of them had never really paid attention to the sound of their running.
By focusing on their footwork they were landing better and thereby running a lot quieter. Being in big group really highlighted this lesson as any difference in noise was amplified by the number of runners involved. What sounded like a stampede during the warm-up was now a gentle tapping.
So next time you head out, listen to your feet. They just may have something very important to tell you.