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How to land lightlySmoother Running


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#1 PommeRocket

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:14 PM

Hi All

I was wondering how do we land softly while running, as the proper technique guru's talk about

I know I must be
  • Upright and a small forward lean
  • Minimal/light trainers
  • lift hips
  • drive knees forward (foot ppulling up direclty below the hip)
  • land with feet under hips

I try to do all these things yet i seem to have alot of vertical movement and still seem to land heavily!! probably to do with the vertical movement

any tips

Cheers Paul

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#2 Colin

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:32 PM

See within quote

View PostPommeRocket, on 07 June 2012 - 04:14 PM, said:

Hi All

I was wondering how do we land softly while running, as the proper technique guru's talk about

I know I must be 'must'??
  • Upright and a small forward lean yes, very slightly
  • Minimal/light trainers wouldn't hurt
  • lift hips No, why?
  • drive knees forward (foot ppulling up direclty below the hip) NO*
  • land with feet under hips Yes

* let's make a quick comparison.
Drive knees forward and lifting up feet vs heels going back and foot swinging through with minimal knee lift. It is not hard to see that lifting heels back (aided by energy return from contact phase) , then foot swinging down and forward with body then 'catching up' will have less energy use and less vertical hip travel.

This is one of my 'pet' issues with running  and because most people can easily learn what sort of training to do, this is the only form of coaching that I do formally.

#3 PommeRocket

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:05 PM

Thanks Colin

not sure what you mean, "lighting heels back" do you mean lift feet not pushing

Cheers

Paul

#4 Colin

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:28 PM

Yes..lifting

Have a look here and here

The first movement is up and back with heel rather than forward and up with knee. The knee will lift slightly as foot swings through though

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 06:13 PM

My physio who I have got to do a running assessment a few times to check things out has given me a few tips.

Run like there is barbed/electric (or barbed electric if it helps) wire between your legs and if you drop too low well....you know.

Run quietly, try running without making a sound when your feet hit the ground.  This has worked best for me getting my running right.

#6 BEN-HUR

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:00 PM

Also consider working on your lower abdominals i.e. on back (horizontal) doing leg raises/leg bicycle; also vertically, resting on elbows with legs dangling & doing leg raises/leg bicycle/alternate knee lifts (easy version - both knees up/lift). Making sure that both up & down movements are slow & controlled. Working lower abs will not only help with ease of knee lift but also control rate of descent of lower limb/foot to the ground thus decrease velocity (uncontrolled speed/direction) & subsequent forces thus potential noise. Also reducing degree of heel strike may also decrease chance of forefoot slap onto the ground - the greater ankle dorsiflexion at heel contact will attract potential need for greater ankle plantarflexion to get the forefoot to the ground. The aim is to reduce uncontrolled motion which is contributing to excess adverse forces which also are not contributing to forward momentum.

#7 runhard

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:12 PM

I too sound like an elephant when I run.  I try all these things but must be doing it wrong as I still sound like and elephant!  Will try again tomorrow.  

Great Youtube clips Colin and also great thread.

#8 MG4R

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:13 PM

Before or after a run, you should practice some running drills, such as high knees, butt kicks etc. You can find a load of these routines on youtube by simply typing in, "running drills".

Watch the African runners. Their "back kick" is what you want. This requires using your glutes. So kick your bum in every stride and you will find your stride to be more efficient and effective. It may feel weird at first, but with hills and a lot of practice you will be kicking your bum, as well as your Personal Bests :)

#9 Zub

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:46 PM

Hi

If you have to much vert movement u are probably over using your calves by pushing your foot into the ground as u lift it off

What goes up must go down which results in a heavy landing

Whilst running imagine u re peeling your foot of the ground, from heel to forefoot,


#10 walker1st

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:31 AM

land lightly means, the full force of your gravity does not hit the ground in 1 microsecond but is spread in time over longer time period.

Do you have a car without schock absorbers ?

Do you ride bike on trails ? can you compare MTB with fork frame and seat suspension to rigid no suspension bike when you hit something ?

try this - do the calf jumps wit strictly straight knees - something which is used to strenght the calves achilles etc, now do not land on your toes but slamm right the ground with heels and do not bend the knees at all, all the gravity hits the ground in 1 microsecond and not only the ground but your body will bloody feel it.

compare that with jumping with bend knees when the landing is soft as you bend the knees and accumulate the landing force into your quads and you can also accumulate it into your gluteus and your calves and achiles if you land toes first
if you learn how to synchronize  all the possible muscles which can potentially serve as suspension you get the softest landing possible

now try that while running or walking first

Jesus was good at it, did not break the water surface tension

Edited by walker1st, 08 June 2012 - 09:34 AM.


#11 Mile27

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:40 AM

There has been a few comments and suggestions about kicking your bum whilst running to improve technique . Whislt the footage on Colin's links of the marathon finish clearly shows them "kicking their bum" as they run that doesn't mean this is how we should run.

What it means is if you are running at 21km an hour then having your foot kicking your bum is good form. But if you look at elite ultra runners running at say 5 min k's they definitely aren't kicking their bum.

The amount of knee bend of the swinging leg as it comes through will depend on the speed.

I do agree that some people don't have enough knee bend on the swing leg and therefore use more energy in bringing the swing leg through.

Correctly trained abs will help lift the knee after  push off. You experience a stretch from front of stance leg hip to opposite shoulder that can act like a rubber band and contract upon push off which will reduce the distance between the leg and opposite shoulder helping to lift the knee. That's not to say you should actively lift the knee though ( except when going up hill)

Unfortunately traditional ab exercises won't help and there is no research to suggest they will help your running at all. There is plenty of research to show they will strengthen your core but just very little to say that this improvement in core strength has any benefit on running.

#12 Colin

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:21 AM

View PostMile27, on 08 June 2012 - 10:40 AM, said:

There has been a few comments and suggestions about kicking your bum whilst running to improve technique . Whislt the footage on Colin's links of the marathon finish clearly shows them "kicking their bum" as they run that doesn't mean this is how we should run.

What it means is if you are running at 21km an hour then having your foot kicking your bum is good form. But if you look at elite ultra runners running at say 5 min k's they definitely aren't kicking their bum.

Yes, of course, the faster you go the higher that back lift is, I have stressed that plenty of times...but where does it say that we are talking about 24hr runners?? :huh: (elite ultra runners @5min/km)

Nevertheless, the technique is the same. Economy plays even a bigger role the further you go, so lifting the knee forward is always more energy than a backlift.

#13 Mile27

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:18 PM

View PostColin, on 08 June 2012 - 11:21 AM, said:

View PostMile27, on 08 June 2012 - 10:40 AM, said:

There has been a few comments and suggestions about kicking your bum whilst running to improve technique . Whislt the footage on Colin's links of the marathon finish clearly shows them "kicking their bum" as they run that doesn't mean this is how we should run.

What it means is if you are running at 21km an hour then having your foot kicking your bum is good form. But if you look at elite ultra runners running at say 5 min k's they definitely aren't kicking their bum.

Yes, of course, the faster you go the higher that back lift is, I have stressed that plenty of times...but where does it say that we are talking about 24hr runners?? :huh: (elite ultra runners @5min/km)

Nevertheless, the technique is the same. Economy plays even a bigger role the further you go, so lifting the knee forward is always more energy than a backlift.


I mentioned elite ultra runners because they have to have an economical technique otherwise they wouldn't be winning races.

Considering many on this forum would be happy to run a marathon at 5 min k's I was trying to show that a high backlift doesn't make you go faster it happens because you go faster.

There are some people however that there back lift isn't optimal and they would benefit from encouraging more backlift .

I do agree that backlift is more economical than knee lift.


#14 Viktoria17

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:19 PM

Hi there,

I like this video : ...but apperently I haven't learn it correctly as I managed to fracture my foot :)

V.

#15 iRonnie

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:43 PM

I started doing my long runs on bitumen last year because of an injury. I have heel spur that trail running aggravates because of the extra friction from running on uneven trails.  I now don't slap so much.  Before i came to Brisbane (15 years ago) with its handy trails i used to do near all my training on bitumen.  No problems: so maybe too much dirt makes you lazy as far as impact forces go.

The other change has been i now run about 24 to30k a week on grass barefoot.  Eight k at a time.  I have always also done about 50k a week in flats. I was and still am a heel tapper -even when barefoot. The barefoot running has helped with dorsiflexion which has also helped with a bit of a slap i had in my left foot.  No matter how much static sretching i did i couldn't free my left ankle.  It is still tight and feels awkward but it is sure a lot better than it was thanks to the extra dynamic stretch barefoot running gives me. I always felt better in racing shoes and now i feel even betterer.

The other thing i have done is i now do about two hundred eccentric ankle drops every day.  Sometimes with a  1/2 full backpack of sand on.  This has strengthened my achilles and i can now hop on one leg -even the sore one-for yonks and yonks.  I am not a styliish runner by any means (i can't even butt kick in a stretch)but i sure feel more comfortable when i run now.  

I still wear DS trainers for my long runs.  The one thing i like about heavier shoes is the extra strength you get from wearing them. I like the clear distinction between endurance training and track sessions, and more importantly, racing that the various kinds of shoes give..

Edited by iRonnie, 09 June 2012 - 12:47 AM.


#16 speedmeup

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:44 PM

. . also forgetting to mention that most of the elite runners weigh less than 65kg (and many less than 60kg) so yes.. at those weights it is much easier to "run lightly"

what works for some doesn't with others though, one of my good mates has a "slap slap" sounding run (i always know when he's catching me up), and i have a much lighter style - but we are very evenly paced. Not sure if it makes any difference, but i have a longer stride and higher hip .. whereas my mate has rather short legs (he's still bloody fast though). .

#17 sportsphysio

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:36 PM

View Postspeedmeup, on 08 June 2012 - 05:44 PM, said:

what works for some doesn't with others

I reckon this is the key point. If there was one perfect way of running, why don't all the elites run with the same action and why do some elites still get injured? It has to be an individual thing. If you want to tweak your form, experiment a little with lots of patience and accept the risk that things may get worse. Alternatively pay someone (who knows their stuff) to have a look at it. A few hundred dollars paid but it only needs to help you avoid one injury and it's already paid for itself.

In saying all that, two guaranteed methods of landing lighter include reducing gravity and losing weight. And personally, I'd wager that most people would have more chance of reducing gravity than figuring out the "perfect" running stride. Don't overcomplicate a simple thing.

#18 Colin

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:19 PM

View Postsportsphysio, on 08 June 2012 - 09:36 PM, said:

If there was one perfect way of running, why don't all the elites run with the same action and why do some elites still get injured?

Looking at most major marathons, it seems to me the styles are pretty much similar. And with the volume and quantity they do,their injury frequency is extremely low. How many non starters do you get?
At 6FT we get about 20% attrition to injury pre race- just the guys so injured they can't even take part- off a fraction of training. If elites had the same propensity to injury then you wouldn't even get a roll up at major meetings.

Edited by Colin, 08 June 2012 - 11:21 PM.


#19 Wiefranz

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 01:26 AM

Running is natural


http://en.wikipedia....idge_runner.jpg

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Bipedalism

Edited by Wiefranz, 09 June 2012 - 01:59 AM.


#20 sportsphysio

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:49 PM

View PostColin, on 08 June 2012 - 11:19 PM, said:

Looking at most major marathons, it seems to me the styles are pretty much similar. And with the volume and quantity they do,their injury frequency is extremely low. How many non starters do you get?
At 6FT we get about 20% attrition to injury pre race- just the guys so injured they can't even take part- off a fraction of training. If elites had the same propensity to injury then you wouldn't even get a roll up at major meetings.
Colin

My previous comment was referring to a comparison between elite marathoners but also comparing marathoners to 800/1500m runners and ultramarathoners. There is significant variation in their strides reflecting a different focus (efficiency vs power generation, etc). The previous posts about "to run with good form you MUST..." doesn't take into account any characteristics of the individual and their chosen discipline.

And your point about elites having very low injury rates tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Elites with high injury rates aren't elites, they're the runner we all knew who had massive potential but never quite made it. The elite runners in the sport are often those who have avoided major injury for a prolonged period of time.

SP

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 08:26 AM

Just another thing to consider for the original poster.  I noticed during the week that depending which pair of shoes I wear I have very different sounds coming from my foot strike.  My old adios and f50 shoes are very quiet yet the new adios 2 make a very load slapping noise.  I don't feel like I change my technique in these shoes so maybe its the type of shoes your running in that can be contributing to the noise.  If your trying everything and nothing seems to be working maybe it isn't you?

#22 Colin

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:01 PM

View Postsportsphysio, on 09 June 2012 - 10:49 PM, said:

My previous comment was referring to a comparison between elite marathoners but also comparing marathoners to 800/1500m runners and ultramarathoners. There is significant variation in their strides reflecting a different focus (efficiency vs power generation, etc).

SP, if you read any of my more detailed posts on form , I actually note and explain the differences between 100, 880, 1500 etc and marathoners.

However, elite marathoners and ultra marathoners have the same basic form and you will find that almost all the posters here are not talking about track running.

The comment about self fulfilling copuld also be applied if you say that 'slower runners' have or require a different style

cheers

#23 sportsphysio

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:31 PM

Seems we're on the same page Colin. I didn't see your previous posts about track runners. My bad.

I'd still disagree with the comparison of styles between marathoners and ultra runners but we're probably getting a little off topic there.

My comment about the self-fulfilling prophecy was referring to the fact that, generally speaking, elites who get injured are unable to remain elite, at least in the short term, so the ones we see at races are obviously not the injured ones.
I also agree with your point about slower runners needing to change their stride due to their pace. I have seen a few slightly heavier runners who have come to grief after converting to the Gebrselassie special.

#24 BEN-HUR

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 10:22 PM

View PostPommeRocket, on 07 June 2012 - 04:14 PM, said:

I was wondering how do we land softly while running...

... I try to do all these things yet i seem to have alot of vertical movement and still seem to land heavily!! probably to do with the vertical movement

any tips


This thread has been taken down a couple of tangents with misinterpretations along the way (not uncommon on a medium such as this & on a topic such as this). Getting back to the original question - it would seem that the main issue here is how to run more lightly/land more softly.

From just a physiology point of view (i.e. leaving footwear as well as foot strike placement aside) - knee lift (hip flexion i.e.  via Psoas muscle complex & including activation of lower abs) & back leg/foot lift (knee flexion i.e.  via Hamstring group) has come under some scrutiny. What needs to be remembered in this discussion is that in running the knee has to be in a state of lift at late swing phase (that is there is flexion of thigh at hip joint for the knee to be at this elevated position) allowing the raise of thigh, leg & foot which also needs to come back down to the ground for contact phase. Also, effective forward leg swing economy is shortening the lever arm (in this case - leg) via increasing knee flexion so as heel 'rides' closer towards the buttocks. However, effective degree of hip & knee flexion is not so much the result of contracting flexor muscles (i.e. Psoas, Hamstring groups) but occurs from the degree of forward movement inertia force. The faster/greater the forward movement inertia force generated by the individual, the greater possibility/degree of flexion at hip & knee for that individual - hence the different styles/techniques usually found between sprinting, middle distance running & marathon running (this will also change during a race - say at 400m mark as opposed to the 4950m mark of 5000m race). For example, my hip & knee flexion is different when running at 3 min. km pace as opposed to jogging at 4.30 min. km pace (for others it could be different i.e. based on their running ability). If I consciously want greater hip & knee flexion at my 4.30 min. km pace I have to activate more muscle involvement (less economical) as opposed to the so called free energy gained from the increased forward inertia force achieved from a higher speed. However, the conditioning of these flexor muscle groups is still important to effectively allow the above forward inertia force/activity to effectively take effect which also, subsequently includes bringing the swing phase leg/foot onto the ground in a controlled manner without generating too much force (subsequent noise)... which is incorporating eccentric loading (muscle elongating whilst under tension/loading) forces. Thus important to also focus on this aspect of muscle conditioning for the benefits of greater running economy & reduction of not only muscles soreness from excess ground reaction forces but also reduce possibility of injury. Thus why activity specific exercises are important to conditioning the hip & knee flexors i.e. controlled lower ab/Psoas workouts as well as routines such as plyometrics.

Fact: the average jogger/runner (large % of this forum) will likely have poor conditioned hip & knee flexors (particularly hip flexors) due to the usual westernised sedentary lifestyle (i.e. long periods of sitting) as well as poor diet (i.e. excess weight with excess circumference around waist line). Hence the need for exercises in this area to not only allow for greater joint extension (to elongate tight hip flexors from habitual sitting) but gain greater strength in joint flexion & subsequent ability to withstand eccentric loading of muscles during joint extension.

Anyway, there is a book that looks to have recently come out - & going by reports sounds to have done a pretty good job in explaining issues relating to the subject matter... Tread Lightly: Form, Footwear, and the Quest for Injury-Free Running...

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#25 Bellthorpe

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 10:49 PM

Force is one thing. Inertia is another, different thing. What is 'inertia force'?

#26 BEN-HUR

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 11:34 PM

View PostBellthorpe, on 11 June 2012 - 10:49 PM, said:

Force is one thing. Inertia is another, different thing. What is 'inertia force'?
There was a hint BT in the phrase in question associated with "inertia" & "force"... that being the preceeding words... "forward" & "movement"... "forward movement inertia force"...

Basic Biomechanics: Newton’s Laws of Motion

#27 Bellthorpe

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 07:20 AM

I understand 'forward movement'. It's the opposite of 'backward movement'. Not to be confused with 'sideways movement' or 'vertical movement'.

But force is one thing. Inertia is another, different thing. What is 'inertia force'?

#28 Tony123

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 08:09 AM

View PostBellthorpe, on 12 June 2012 - 07:20 AM, said:

I understand 'forward movement'. It's the opposite of 'backward movement'. Not to be confused with 'sideways movement' or 'vertical movement'.

But force is one thing. Inertia is another, different thing. What is 'inertia force'?
Even the physicists dont understand inertia force  http://www.physicsfo...ad.php?t=126430

#29 sportsphysio

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:26 PM

BenHur

Normally a fan of your posts but I don't know if you've shed any light on the subject. Your assertion that hamstrings bends the knee at toe-off isn't on the money and the comment about "free energy" as opposed to muscle energy is inaccurate as well. The stored energy in tendons can only be utilised in the presence of muscle energy (that is, the muscle must remain active to allow the tendons to store energy. No muscle force = no stored energy).

SP

#30 BEN-HUR

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 07:39 AM

View Postsportsphysio, on 12 June 2012 - 11:26 PM, said:

BenHur

Normally a fan of your posts but I don't know if you've shed any light on the subject. Your assertion that hamstrings bends the knee at toe-off isn't on the money and the comment about "free energy" as opposed to muscle energy is inaccurate as well. The stored energy in tendons can only be utilised in the presence of muscle energy (that is, the muscle must remain active to allow the tendons to store energy. No muscle force = no stored energy).

SP

I will attempt to answer both BT’s & your query in the one answer (as all are somewhat interrelated). Firstly, nowhere did I say/imply that hamstrings bends the knee at toe-off”... however, I did state that Hamstrings are responsible for flexing the knee. This should have been picked up on via the following central statement...

View PostBEN-HUR, on 11 June 2012 - 10:22 PM, said:

However, effective degree of hip & knee flexion is not so much the result of contracting flexor muscles (i.e. Psoas, Hamstring groups) but occurs from the degree of forward movement inertia force.

That previous sentence (above quote) is a loaded statement as it goes towards answering all the queries i.e. the issue of muscle activation, the issue of inertia (or inertial) force & what I stated as... “so called free energy” (“so called” in reference to what this type of energy is sometimes referred as in discussions of this nature [i.e. “free” recoil energy as opposed to activated muscle energy] – I personally feel a more appropriate term would be recoil/elastic energy). I must say that appropriate terminology is important in discussions of this nature to offset the potential for confusion/misinterpretation... which can also be affected when one is in a rush to complete a post.  

To clarify further; at the propulsion phase - the foot, leg & hip use recoil/elastic energy stored in the muscles & tendons during the absorption phase to propel the body forward. It's important to use most of this recoil energy to push the body forward & not upward. EMG research has found that the least amount of muscle activity noted at during “toe-off” [TO] (see diagram below) & greatest amount of muscle activity during “initial foot contact” [IC] (this also goes to explaining appropriate “leg stiffness” theory via increased muscle activation preparing for ground contact – another interesting issue in itself), mid-support, & foot descent (the issue of foot descent being the crux of the thread topic I would think in relation to reducing impact force/noise). The Tibialis Anterior muscle is active for the greatest total time with the Hamstrings being the second most activated muscle (see below).

Posted Image

It is also interesting to note here that studies have also shown that more conditioned (i.e. elite) runners’ exhibit lower muscular activity than less conditioned runners. This means they are more efficient in using the energy they produce. The above diagram is interesting as it shows that there is little activation in the calf muscles during late support phase which means that runners do not (or should that be... should not) "push off" from the foot via calf activation (albeit different I would think running up an increasing incline/hill)... instead the large Achilles tendon acts as a spring to return elastic energy to the ground as the foot leaves the ground. The Plantar Fascia under the foot also helps with the spring like loading & unloading to propel you & subsequent leg forward. Together, the tendons of the foot & the Achilles tendon provide at least half of the elastic energy used to propel the body forward. Here is where the “forward movement inertia (or inertial) force” comes into play. This “inertial force” is the effective force required to rebound/recoil the leg/foot forward back to the body in which creates varying degrees of flexion (at joints) of the lower limb based on the mass & acceleration (hence why heavier shoes may have potential adverse impact here on muscles [i.e. Hamstrings] in controlling this moment of inertia).

Initial leg swing & shortening the lever arm for greater economy is sped up by activation of the Rectus Femoris (in part via the use of that recoil motion/elastic energy). Towards the end of swing phase, contact is pulled closer to the body by the Hamstrings (which was first activated at mid-swing phase), thus slowing the forward swing of the lower limb just prior to ground contact (as well as Glute activation) which start to pull the thigh back prior to ground contact. However, if we have weak Hamstrings or inefficient Hamstring activation, they may be less able to efficiently pull the lower leg back prior to ground contact. This is how/where overstriding can/could take place. Add on to all of this a “heavy” pair of shoes at the end of the foot that increases the moment of inertia of the lower leg as it rotates at the knee which can exacerbate further problems. As we swing that foot forward with a heavier shoe, it may be harder for the Hamstrings to effectively do their job to slow the leg down & prepare it for a more optimal lighter landing... hence greater impact force generated (i.e. potential greater contact/shoe noise)... hence also landing in a potentially more over extended position ahead of COG or COM (centre of Gravity/Mass) – hence potential heavier/exacerbated heel striking – hence greater eccentric loading forces – hence potential greater chance of injury. Hence the importance of performing exercises to strengthen the likes of Hamstrings/Gluteus Max. etc. in association with routines such as plyometrics & vertical (upright two leg & one leg) core routines. Hence also the potential benefits in incorporating some element of barefoot running/training into one’s running schedule... all of which help entrench better technique/form & neuromuscular activation/strength.

I hope this helps clarify the issues raised & also help understand the “why” behind some of the problems faced by some runner’s injuries & technique/form woes. However, I can’t help but resonate with the following picture when all is said & done. The interesting conundrum here is that sometimes things appear overly complicated (humans like to complicate things) yet the answers always tends to lie in getting back to the basics – same applies to nutrition --> natural/plant based food... & primarily raw (whoops, another controversial & potentially complicated topic).

Posted Image

Edited by BEN-HUR, 13 June 2012 - 07:46 AM.


#31 Mile27

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:40 AM

The diagram that Ben Hur shows illustrates some  concepts that go against common thinking.

If we look at the hamstrings you see that they are inactive as the leg begins to swing forward and the knee bends bringing the foot closer to the bum.

Also the recutus femoris is inactive as the knee lifts towards its highest point.

And as Ben-Hur pointed out the calves arent active during push off

So the hamstrings don't lift the foot to the bum, the rectus femoris doesn't lift the knee up and the calves don't push off.

This actually makes sense if we understand how muscles work - in running they work primarily isometrically and eccentrically.

The common understanding is that muscles work concentrically - ie contracting and shortening - so the hamstrings would drive hip extension( thigh going backwards) and knee Flexion ( knee bending ) ,  the rectus femoris will drive hip Flexion ( thigh going forward) and knee extension( knee straightening ) and the calves drive plantarflexion ( pointing toes)

In running the opposite happens , the hamstrings control hip Flexion and knee extension,  the rectus femoris controls hip extension and knee Flexion, the calves control knee Flexion and foot dorsiflexion . They absorb energy during these movements which can then be released helping propel the body forward. A good percentage of this energy comes for free - ie from gravity ,momentum and ground reaction forces , this is why better runners use less energy running at the same pace as slower runners, they make better use of elastic energy.

Many of the  strength exercises runners perform focus on concentric muscle strength which unfortunately is very ineffective for runners. We need to train the muscles to work eccentrically and isometrically , teaching them to make use of elastic energy.


in terms of landing softly some simple skipping / jumping exercises can be beneficial. Barefoot running can help as long as you realise that just because you take your shoes off it doesn't Gaurantee you will change your technique .

As Ben -Hur and Colin have said - running can be a simple thing that we humans can tend to over complicate.

The fact is scientists still can't agree on what exactly happens when we run , and we can debate the finer points of running for years. But as a runner there are only a few things you have conscious control over.

You can't consciously activate particular muscles when you run ( it all happens far too quickly for that to be possible ) but you can focus on things like stride length, body position and where your foot hits the ground . Play around with the variables you can control and find what works for you.

If you want running technique advice remember that describing how to run  in words is extremely difficult as everyone interprets things differently . Hence it is worthwhile trying a few different sources to find something that works for you.








#32 HillsAths1

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:53 PM

I cant be sure but I thought I read somewhere on CR that if I run barefoot at a cadence of 180 that I will land more softly and have less injuries (and this is not an edit...I really am just stirring the pot).

#33 Tony123

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:28 PM

View PostHillsAths1, on 13 June 2012 - 01:53 PM, said:

I cant be sure but I thought I read somewhere on CR that if I run barefoot at a cadence of 180 that I will land more softly and have less injuries (and this is not an edit...I really am just stirring the pot).
If you read it in "Born to Run" then it must be true

#34 adr1an

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 03:24 PM

I just run beside busy roads so I can't hear my feet.

#35 Davo

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 03:54 PM

View Postadr1an, on 13 June 2012 - 03:24 PM, said:

I just run beside busy roads so I can't hear my feet.

Can't hear your feet!?
After a long sweaty run my feet may hum, but they never sing or shout. :Smug:

#36 Tony123

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 04:12 PM

View Postadr1an, on 13 June 2012 - 03:24 PM, said:

I just run beside busy roads so I can't hear my feet.
The other option is to crank up the ipod.

#37 HillsAths1

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 03:40 PM

Tony correct I forgot the ipod option, but I also forgot to mention the all vegan raw diet which would also make me land lighter.

#38 adr1an

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:17 PM

View PostDavo, on 13 June 2012 - 03:54 PM, said:

View Postadr1an, on 13 June 2012 - 03:24 PM, said:

I just run beside busy roads so I can't hear my feet.

Can't hear your feet!?
After a long sweaty run my feet may hum, but they never sing or shout. :Smug:

Usually mine are complaining

Edited by adr1an, 14 June 2012 - 07:18 PM.


#39 mutk

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:05 PM

I recall reading that the fastest runners tend to have the strongest foot strike. If you equate running well to running fast then it is certain that a hard foot strike is an outcome of running well.

When it comes to out and out endurance running, perhaps minimising foot strike is key.

#40 Wiefranz

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:02 AM

Recently came upon these images:

http://biomechanics....ikesmens10k.jpg

Extremely different footstrikes of elite runners. Any comments on them from the forum's experts?

Kind regards

Christian

Edited by Wiefranz, 27 June 2012 - 05:47 AM.


#41 Mile27

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:36 AM

Really interesting. Thoughts as follows

- foot strike alone doesn't determine how fast you can run, an athlete with less than optimal foot strike ( whatever that might be ) may be faster than an athlete with better foot strike due to greater Vo2 max or AT or any other number of factors

- unfortunately the photos only show the foot and lower shin, what would have been more interesting is seeing where their knee and hips are in relation to the foot although you can guess that from the information presented.

- Comparing photos is fraught with difficulty unless the photos are all taken at the exact same time. Either first point of contact with the ground or the point where impact forces are the greatest. This option is only possible if you can sync the photos with a force plate. The problem with looking at point of first contact is that because the body is moving so quickly the foot may be in a completely different position by the time impact forces are the greatest.

- but for the sake of argument and looking at the different landing patters I would say that 18 , 17 and 9 have far to much dorsiflexion and landing too much on the heel.

-of the top ten  1,2,7,8,10 land forefoot, 3,4,6 mid foot and 5, 9 heel .

- 1,2 have a large range of motion to control as the foot hits the ground ie the foot is quite inverted

If you compare the angle of the shin in the pictures with the angle of the shin at landing of elite marathon runners in these pictures http://www.kinetic-r...in-slow-motion/

You will notice that the marathon runners shins are leaning forward whereas the 10k runners are all leaning backwards.

This You may think can be explained by the slower speed 10k vs marathon but the marathon runners in question are running a 2.03 marathon which is 29.09 10k pace Which is not that different to the runners in the 10k ( 27.25-29.36)

So is it possible that the marathon runners have a better technique and are higher quality athletes than the ones shown in the 10k pictures, or is the slight difference in speed significant enough to change the angle of the shin in relation to the foot?

There is no universal best running technique as we are all individuals , the key is identifying specific weaknesses in an individual and correcting that rather than trying to force individuals into a one size fits all technique approach.