Form Tip: Run Faster—and Stay Alive Longer!—with Quiet Feet

Imagine, like you should fairly regularly, that it's the end of the world and you need above-average survival skills to make it in the every man/woman for him/herself post-apocalypse wilds.

You’ll want to not only run fast, but quietly.

Loud footsteps are often an indicator of braking: Your joints are not flexing enough to carry the impact of each stride into the next one, but instead are redirecting your forward momentum into shockwaves that move up through your body. And you don't want to brake!

Can you hear Kaitlyn’s footsteps? Didn’t think so.

Can you hear Kaitlyn’s footsteps? Didn’t think so.

If you or your running partners can hear your footsteps clearly, you'd probably starve in our scenario—or more likely, you'd be food for something else. 

Particularly on hard surfaces, quieter running means you’re making less contact with the ground—and that is one idea that most experts seem to agree on that increases speed and efficiency, and reduces injury. 

Tips for the hunt:

  • Think foot "lift" instead of foot "strike"

  • Reduce the amount of time that each foot touches the ground

  • Avoid the dreaded forefoot!

  • Increase the bend at your ankles—work on flexing them when your feet hit the ground

  • Push the road backwards without any braking action

  • Remember you are sneaking up on your victim!

  • Aim for continuous motion: imagine you're a wheel

Want more great form advice? Check out NBR’s form run in Prospect Park every Wednesday night!