Braking Force

Running Braking Force as Measured by an Accelerometer

Running braking force is the amount of force that is generated to slow down your body as your foot strikes the ground. It is measured in units of body weight (BW). A typical running braking force is 1-2 times body weight for rearfoot strikers to over 3-4 times body weight for forefoot strikers.

Braking force can vary depending on a number of factors, including your running form, the surface you are running on, and your speed. For example, heel strikers tend to have higher braking forces than midfoot or forefoot strikers, and running on a hard surface, such as concrete, will produce higher braking forces than running on a soft surface, such as grass.

Too much braking force can lead to injuries, such as shin splints, stress fractures, and runner's knee. However, some braking force is necessary for good running performance.

Once you have collected data from your accelerometer, you can use it to analyze your running braking force and identify areas where you can improve your running form to reduce braking force. For example, if you have high braking forces, you may want to try landing on your midfoot or forefoot instead of your heel. You may also want to try running on softer surfaces, such as grass or dirt.

It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what is the optimal level of braking force. The best way to find the level that is right for you is to listen to your body and adjust your running form accordingly.

Tips for Reducing Running Braking Force

Here are some additional tips for reducing running braking force:

  • Improve your running form. Focus on landing on your midfoot or forefoot, and keep your stride short and quick.
  • Run on soft surfaces whenever possible.
  • Wear properly fitting running shoes.
  • Start slowly and gradually increase your speed and distance.
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when needed.

If you experience pain while running, reduce your speed or distance, or take a break from running altogether. If the pain persists, talk to your doctor or a physical therapist.