In the comments on my running by default post, one of the more common responses was that people often have backpacks and a bouncing backpack is somewhere between "annoying" and "painful, risking bruising".
There was some discussion on how to set up your backpack to reduce bouncing. Tips:
Some backpacks have straps you can buckle across your front, or you can get add-on ones. Wear them super snug.
Put your water bottle inside where it's more central and less likely to fall out.
Figure out if there are things you don't need to be transporting so you can have a lighter pack.
Use a fancy backpack with good padding and a rigid back.
Hold the shoulder straps as you run to absorb jostling.
These all seem like fine ideas, but I don't do any of them. My backpack is relatively low-end ($27) and non-rigid, without any sternum or waist straps. I keep my water bottle in the outside pocket, I have many little things in it that I could probably carry fewer of, and I don't hold the shoulder straps. And yet I probably do the majority of my running with a backpack on: I'm commuting and I have things I need to bring with me. Even when I was trying to run fast and repeatedly beat my personal best times I had my pack.
What works for me instead is that I've learned to run with a gait that doesn't bounce my backpack. I take a lot (~190 bpm) of short strides which means I have less time to fall between steps, and I generally stay pretty level. I think this is probably also beneficial from a perspective of minimizing the impact forces on your joints (ex: a paper I skimmed). Whether my backpack is heavy or light, it mostly stays put on my back.
It's still less pleasant to run with the extra weight of a backpack since it's more work, but if I think of it as intentional exercise (a bit like a weighted vest you already have with you!) I don't mind it too much.
I wear my backpack on my front rather than my back, and hug it as I run.
I started doing this after a trip to Tokyo, during which it was brought to my attention that it was rude of me to get on the subway and let my backpack on my back become a hazard to people around me, since I could not see what it was doing behind me.
When I was doing runs in the dozens of miles, I found it better to cache water ahead of time at the ten mile points. On a hot day, you need more water than you can comfortably carry.
The kind of running I'm thinking about here is much shorter stretches as you go about your daily life: short enough that you don't even break a sweat (more).
I tried the quick gait:
1. running with a backpack
2. running for exercise without a backpack
I think I'm sold on it for 1, seems better than the long, loping gait I previously used for backpack running
Not sold for 2, seems to wear out my calves quickly
Thanks for reporting back!
I wonder if wearing out your calves quickly is just not being used to it yet? It wouldn't be surprising for it to use your muscles a bit differently and so be especially tiring in one area at first.
Yeah maybe -- I have a ton of calf problems in general when running, and I should probably see a running coach or something.
This pretty clearly did make the calf problems even worse than usual though :p
Interesting! I wonder if differences in leg/hip geometry contribute to some people finding less-bouncy running gaits comfortable, and others finding the smoother gaits notably less pleasant.
Definitely wouldn't surprise me! It's reasonably common that when I ask "why doesn't everyone else..." it turns out to be some way people vary I hadn't thought about.
(Though there are also a lot of cases where it turns out it does generalize.)
This sounds like some dark magic to me.
I put a towel inside my backpack to prevent the contents from rattling. I do up the straps quite tight and if needs be I put socks around the straps so they don’t chafe against my neck. If the pocket where I keep my phone and keys is not tight enough to stop my keys from jangling then I stuff a flannel in as well. I also put hairbands around the zippers to prevent jangling noises. I also try to finish the contents of my water bottle in one go because I don’t like to have a half full bottle sploshing around.