Recently I took a webinar on running form from RunnersConnect.net. The webinar went into details about how to improve running form, from gait analysis to strength and flexibility exercises.
But one point that caught my eyes from the webinar was the elastic recoil force from the stride mechanics that we can benefit in our running efficiency.
The elastic recoil, or the Bounce as I call it, is the energy imparted from foot strike impacting the ground, stored in the tendons and joints, and released during the push or toe-off.
This bounce provides a free lift that helps the airborne leg to recover to the the position prior to the next foot strike. Think of a slingshot analogy: the elastic recoil force is the energy stored in the fully stretched slings. It can save up to 50% of the propulsive force for each stride.
During today’s 4 miles easy (9:00 to 9:45) w/4 x 20 sec strides, I pay particular attention to feel this bounce in each stride. And sure enough it is there. It makes me feel stronger not only during the easy run but also in the striders, as if my cylinders are firing efficiently.
Have you ever felt the bounce in your steps?