QUICK SCIENCE

Re­search sug­gests that by land­ing more qui­etly, it will im­prove form

220 Triathlon Magazine - - Contents -

How land­ing qui­etly im­proves form

Fail­ing to hear your sur­round­ings is a per­sua­sive ar­gu­ment to run with­out mu­sic. Not per­sua­sive enough for many, of course, who feel naked with­out big beats to ac­com­pany ev­ery stride. Ac­cord­ing to re­cent re­search, how­ever, si­lence could well re­sult in some­thing sex­ier than sim­ply safer run­ning – faster run times. Pro­fes­sor Xuan Phan and his team com­pared the biome­chan­ics of 26 male sub­jects run­ning as nor­mal and when told to make a qui­eter sound on land­ing. The re­searchers showed that peak ver­ti­cal ground re­ac­tion force and load­ing time was lower when en­cour­aged to run qui­etly (softly) – high fig­ures for both are pre­cur­sors to in­jury – be­cause, in an ef­fort to make no sound, 75% of the sub­jects shifted from heel strik­ing to mid­foot or fore­foot land­ing. The ben­e­fit? A greater aware­ness of run­ning gait po­ten­tially re­sults in more ef­fi­cient land­ing and toe-off, and ul­ti­mately im­proves per­for­mance and re­duces the chances of in­jury. [Note: chang­ing tech­nique takes at least six weeks of near daily com­mit­ment.]

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