As podiatrists and runners we often notice people running with wearables such as watches, headphones and phone holders, and sometimes observe changes in their running form and habits as a result.
We decided to make a little list of some common things we have observed to try and help runners.
Smart watches are amazing, and there isn’t much they can’t do these days. If you wear a watch though, don’t check it too often, and when you do check it, just glance, do not hold your wrist up for prolonged periods of time. This can alter your form and posture and it means you are not looking where you are going.
If you wear an arm strap holder for your phone, make sure it isn’t changing your arm position. We have observed people holding their arm out to stop the holder or it’s strap from rubbing. The same applies for chest straps.
Get someone to video you running with and without it, and see if your posture or body shape changes.
Music can be a powerful partner, particularly on those longer runs. If you wear headphones with a wire, make sure they can’t get caught on anything and that the length of them isn’t altering your posture or making you hunch – wireless may be better.
If you run with headphones in, be extra careful of your environment and what is going on around you. Sometime, using budsso you can just wear one is a good option too.
Music and cadence
Be careful when running to the beat of music as this usually changes from song to song and may alter your cadence (steps per minute) as people often run with the beat.
You can download or make specific playlists to a certain Tempo/BPM or listen to a podcast instead.
Stats are really useful for training and progression, but be careful not to “run to your stats”. Statistics and data are great to capture, but remember running is a natural activity and stats can spoil this, push you too hard and take away some of the mindfulness that running can provide.