tim, on Jul 24 2008, 12:34 PM, said:
Today i was running along just focused as always on a relaxed natural stride and I was just lifting my legs, leaning forward and then just letting my legs fall. It felt very easy. Which made me wonder if the main role of my legs were not to push me forward but to absorb the impact of each step which is what Rudolf just said.
Tim sorry, but not exactly.
I said the calves are not the pushoff activators, and they contribute if the biomechanics is right by absorbing and returning the energy of impact.
There were some good articles about this, comparing animals - and the kengaroos were standing out in the quality, structure flexibility and strenght of the achilles - absorbing the enourmous energy and returning it back.
The article was (I believe from memory) about running economy at various speed, and the fact that achiles was used to take the absorbtion and energy return was crucial, since it is a tendon, not a muscle, so for the tendon workload - the stretch and return, there is no metabolism involved, the tendon is not using oxygen , glucose or any other nutrients, so is not using energy at all. It is like metal spring material - no need to feed by fuel electricity etc, this was also issue with Oscar Pictorius artificial springs...
So the roo is running or multiple jumping fast high, and longer distance etc, often with the babies in teh pouch, and yet
roo does not get tired exhausted puffed because there is not used fuel and oxygen for the movement (OK to a degree not completely).
This was also an argument in Keneyan superiority, as the fact of their barefoot hilltraining - long but strong achilles with short calves muscles, the ability of achilles to absorb and return, so some significant % of their running was done by achilles tendons so energy and oxygen free, so they run effortlesly not puffing at high speeds, I do not remeber if it was estimated that it can give them 1 minute at 10km or more, or how much is it at 5000m etc...
But back to us, if the calves are unfuctional, they do not participate in energy acumulation and return with achilles, so the result is that achilles gets damaged, and that none of the free energy is used for the running speed,
So we are huffing and puffing and get tired but still are running slow.
and to get technicaly anal, I did not say legs are not used in generating the momentum, they are, it comes form their attachement to the core - so abs, back, glutes and than hams, but this is possible even with high heels high cushioned etc shoes it will just lead to injury, so its slightly different topic.
I agree that higher the heel, bigger the prob is, and more difficult the transition is, and in the past racing flats were the only shoes available, I am old enough to remember that...
so occasionaly racing flats, frees is as far as I am willing to go, but 80% is aquasocks and Volleys,
I am also getting quite a different stimulation from barefoot trampoline running - sprint driills etc, really working the feet structure, sometimes I need few days off after such a session.
Edited by Rudolf, 24 July 2008 - 02:09 PM.