You've probably seen runners bounding down the path, springing from foot to foot, catching air with each step. It looks really athletic, but it wastes energy, can cause you to run slower and increases the risk of injury. The higher you go between each step, the farther you have to fall and the more you decelerate with each step. This killed momentum has to be regenerated, leading to muscle fatigue, joint strain and an inefficient stride. Reduce bounce by concentrating on keeping your feet close to the ground between steps. This will not only limit the time you spend in the air, but it should also quicken your stride.
You can also recruit your arms to help decrease bounce by keeping them bent at a 90-degree angle and minimizing the swinging motion. This will help keep your momentum in check, holding you closer to the ground between strides.
If you're interested in becoming a runner, it doesn't have to be complicated. It really can be as simple as going outside and putting one foot in front of the other. But paying attention to your form can help make your runs more enjoyable -- and safer. For lots more information on running and proper form, read on to the next page.
- Eyestone, Ed. Runner's World. "Increase Your Stride Rate." (March, 2007)http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-267--11604-0,00.html
- Galloway, Jeff. "Jeff Galloway's Book on Running." (February, 2002)http://books.google.com/books?id=3kqUP3upHQ4C&lpg=PP1&dq=jeff%20galloway's%20book%20on%20running&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Hasegawa, Hiroshi; Yamauchi, Takeshi; Kramer, William J. "Foot Strike Patterns of Runners At the 15-Km Point During An Elite-Level Half Marathon." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. (August 2007)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17685722
- Lieberman, Daniel. "Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners." Nature. (January 28, 2010)http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/full/nature08723.html
- Running USA. Statistics. (July 17, 2010)http://www.runningusa.org/statistics
- Science Daily. "Barefoot Running: How Humans Ran Comfortably and Safely Before the Invention of Shoes." (February 1, 2010)http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127134241.htm
- Talk Triathlon. "The Foot Strike Debate, Finally Some Unbiased Information." (June 25, 2009)http://talktriathlon.com/2009/06/25/the-foot-strike-debate-finally-some-unbiased-information/
- Tucker, Ross; Dugas, Jonathan. "Heel vs. Midfoot vs. Forefoot: How do elite runners land?" The Science of Sport. (April 1, 2008)http://www.sportsscientists.com/2008/04/running-technique-footstrike.html
- Unger Hahn, Jane. "The Perfect Form." Runners World. (August, 2004)http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-267-268-8210-0,00.html
Second winds depend on a number of factors, including exercise intensity and frequency. Find out what is going on in your body when you get a second wind.