I was noticing today as I started running my first BF run in about two weeks that as I tried to midfoot land (and keep it below my body) that my feet sounded like they were slapping the ground. My heels were not hitting first - no pain there, and I could feel that my mid-forefoot were hitting the ground first, but the slapping sound just didnt sound right. This is supposed to be easy, right?
Not sure if I treated it right, but I found that if I shortened my stride, the slapping went away. It almost seemed like I was pushing my feet forward and had to slap my midfoot down so it would land before the heel.
I did one mile today - mostly asphalt (a bit of grass near one section of road where a truck almost ran me down). as far as I can tell, no blisters and it felt okay. Still working on not pushing off on the uphill section, but overall it felt pretty good.
The slapping sound could come from a variety of sources. Usually it is an indicator of pushing off (which you are aware of... thus not the likely cause), lifting your feet too high (thus increasing the force of the footstrike when they come back down), or overstriding. If the slapping stopped when you shortened your stride, that was probably the culprit. My BF stride is very short... at least half of my old "shod" stride. Even at a slow pace (12 min. miles), my cadence is in the ballpark of 190 steps per minute.
I think your intuition on shortening your stride was spot on... I would advise you to continue with that stride length.
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I make a soft slapping sound sometimes. It has never caused me problems.
There is definitely a different between slapping and the sound of setting your foot down. At least for me.
When I was extending my stride out the front, my foot would land in from of my hips and slap a bit. Once I corrected this and extended my stride out the back, while landing more directly underneath/ behind my hips the slapping noise stopped.
Your milleage will surely vary but the sound is definitely something that should make you put a critical eye on your form.
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