Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Why Do I Bounce When I Run?

“Why do I bounce when I run?” is a question that comes up a lot. Sometimes it’s because someone pointed it out to you or perhaps you realized during a run as you witnessed the horizon bumping up and down. 

While I am a firm believer in the fact that different people have different running styles that work for them and their body, there things we can do to improve. 

Stride Length

If you watch elite marathoners, you’ll notice first that they look like their gliding and then that they have a crazy long stride. So you may be tempted to do the same. But this would be incorrect. As you get faster, and your running improves, you’ll notice a longer stride just naturally happens. But don’t force it. In fact, the reason you’re bouncing is most likely because you are over striding

To correct over striding, shorten your stride and go for a quicker turnover. The ideal is 180 steps per minute, but honestly, that would be a rather fast paced mile and not for everybody. 150 is more realistic in my opinion for the average runner. 

Metronome apps can help with this since you just run to the beat. But another, (easier way in my opinion) is to find a park and simply run barefoot. After a few strides, you’ll notice you’re automatically running with shorter steps and a quicker turnover. 

Landing Wrong

On my way in to work, I used to see the same guy running each morning with a huge bounce in his step. All his energy seemed to be in moving upward rather than forward. As I observed him from the red light one morning, I realized he was landing on the balls of his feet and then springing upward, rather than landing on his midfoot. While the action was very spring-like, and probably a great calf workout, it was a huge waste of energy and I imagine he was very prone to shin splints. 

Happy trails!

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