Running biomechanics refers to the mechanical laws relating to movement and structure of our bodies when running. In other words, it looks at how we run through focusing on aspects like how our muscles and joints function during running. These include things like foot strike patterns, pelvic movements, ground contact time, etc. It is basically a deep-dive measure of your running form.
Considering running biomechanics is important because there lie valuable insight and data that can tell you how to run better, how to avoid injury, what area needs improvement, and what to do to fix it. Though there is no such thing as perfect form — at least nothing that has been identified — there is bad form, and researchers have a pretty good idea of what poor running biomechanics looks like. Knowing what to avoid, such as over-striding, or excessive pelvic rotation, can help you reduce your risk of injury and improve your efficiency and performance.
Related: It’s All in the Hips
What is Running Efficiency?
When talking about running biomechanics, another term that gets used a lot is running efficiency. So what does that mean?
Running efficiency describes how effectively you are using your energy to propel yourself forward when running. Specifically, it’s the difference between the energy required to run forward, versus the amount of energy actually used. The smaller the difference between the two, the more efficient the run is.
Quick Physics Note: every movement requires some energy expenditure.
This means that when running, you want to minimize movement in any direction other than forward to reduce inefficient use of your valuable energy and maximize performance.
Bringing it all together
So far, we’ve discussed biomechanics, form, and efficiency — how do these help in making you a better runner?
Think of your running biomechanics as the foundation of your running form, and your running form as what determines the efficiency of your runs. Understanding your biomechanics will give you the tools you need to focus your training on areas that need the most improvement and help you become an efficient runner to improve your performance.
To help, we’ve teamed up with leading running experts at Loughborough University to identify key running biometrics that influence efficiency and performance:
|Cadence: how frequently your foot contacts the ground every minute.
Bounce: the up and down movement your body experiences while you run.
Ground Contact Time: the amount of time your foot stays on the ground during each step.
|Braking: the decrease in speed your body experiences on each step.
Stride Length: the distance between the initial ground contact of one foot to when that same foot hits the ground again.
Pelvic Rotation: how much your pelvis moves on three axes. It is a measure of how stable your core is.
Using sophisticated hardware and advanced algorithms, Lumo Run captures, tracks, and coaches you on these metric to help you become a better runner.
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Track, learn and get coached on your running form with Lumo Run
Lumo Run measures lab-grade biomechanics data for your running form including important measures like cadence, bounce, braking, and pelvic movement on all three axes. The Lumo Run app provides insights into your running form during and after each run, coaching you to become a better, more efficient runner to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.