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Does running form matter?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by NewsBot, May 6, 2011.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.


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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  2. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  3. "when runners land on their forefoot or midfoot they use their legs almost like springs" :bash: But not then during heel strike running... Obviously for heel-strike running we can't use a spring-mass model. Except you can and researchers do:bang::bang::bang: A little bit of knowledge.....
  4. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    "people often say that Meb Keflezighi's form isn't great. Some recent research suggests that heel first landing may waste energy and actually raise the risk of certain kinds of injury"

    Interesting that the narrator chose Meb Keflezighi as an example of bad form. He then goes on to say: "We're still waiting for research that shows that runners with good form are healthier or run faster, we don't have that yet."

    He uses Ryan Hall, points out he is a midfoot striker and claims he has good form.

    I don't think the video adds anything new but it is interesting in light of the other thread we just had on Meb Keflezighi and form and the opinion the Runner's World narrator has.

  5. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    From Runners World:
    Does Form Matter?
    Link to story
  6. Freeman

    Freeman Active Member

    World class elite runners will get hurt simply becasue of the volume and intensity...even with good form, becausee they are pushing themselves to their absolute highest level...and most of them know it. So if volume alone is stressor, yes they should work on improving their form to as efficeient as it can be. This will take time. Having said that, swimmers get hurt less when they use better mechanically less stressful hand placement and pull technique. Consider the medium of water is somewhat easier on the body than running. If any runner can improve their technique or form to a less stressful/injurious form, why would they not?

    Freeman Churchill
  7. efuller

    efuller MVP

    An interesting question is whether people already select the least injurious form when they run. If someone else tells them to do something different how can the observer know what is going to know what feels like less stress to the runner. Or do runners select style for speed or energy efficiency? Are runners to stupid to know that if they keep running a certain way that they will get injured? I'll bet most of them are not that stupid.

  8. Freeman

    Freeman Active Member

    I would not use the word stupid because it has negative suggestions about them personally. Calling any of the people I see stupid is actually quite far from my mind. I believe people are quite intuitive and will pick up on your thoughts fairly quickly .

    I think very commonly people use poor and injurious technique not because its the most natural and most efficient method for them but perhaps because nobody has taken the time to show them more efficient methods and help them along with it. It takes a long time to have people change their form and they should not be expected to change quickly or correctly because you saw them running once and told them it is not efficient I have found in 40 years (yikes) of working with swimmers, runners and walkers the vast majority of the people I have worked with have been delighted to have someone help them improve their technique much the same way that tennis players and golfers do. They need a certain amount of guidance and feedback. I receive a significant amount of positive feedback for the effort as well. I work with physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths and massage therapists to help athletes of all ages and abilities. It is very rewarding and fruitful.

    If you have a running athlete whose foot continues to pronate past mid stance, has a significant crossover, places their heel down ahead of their center of gravity and runs with a turnover rate of 78 strides a minute I can tell you there is more to helping them than simply designing and fitting them with an orthotic.

    Not helping an athlete perform more efficiently is akin to assuming the first time you cast a foot is the best way.

    I had no part in designing the foot...the more I learn about it and spend time studying athletes and gait the more I realize I am still a beginner.

    If is says anything about taking the time to work on form as well as delivering an orthotic, after major marathons I get a lot of wine and dark chocolate delivered to my office when patients have run their best times.

  9. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    I suggest you a buy a book called; Explosive Running: Using the Science of Kinesiology to Improve Your Performance by Michael Yessis.

    He explains in great detail about why form is incredibly important & why no runner should heel strike.
  10. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    No he doesn't. I am surprised that so many are gullible enough to fall for this quackery nonsensical use of pseudoscience. He certainly fails to explain why so many elite runners run fast and injury free while heel striking.

    DISCLAIMER: I have nothing against forefoot striking, but as with the barefoot stuff I just object to the misuse, misrepresentation and misquoting of the science and this book is a classic!
  11. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    Refer to chapter 3: The Biomechanics of running. All about form & technique.

    In chapter 8; Running barefoot, he states long distance runners touchdown should occur on the mid-foot, to absorb forces, flattening the arch which then gives back energy during the push-off (page 123).
  12. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I have a copy of the book and I reiterate:
    You have fallen for the nonsensical use of pseudoscience.

    The use of metaphors (eg "spring") does not equate to science.
  13. Indeed. Rather than listening to poorly informed zealots, a much better starting point for students wishing to learn about the biomechanics of running is this article by Novacheck:

  14. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    Great article. Thanks Simon
  15. Novachek's article is probably the best ever review article ever written on running biomechanics. I have been using the information from his paper for at least the last decade in my lectures on running biomechanics vs. walking biomechanics. This article should be a must read for any podiatrist that treats runners.

    Especially note the difference in center of mass vertical excursions during walking and running relative to the stance phase function of the foot. They are nearly exactly opposite from each other. Why isn't this fact taught to all podiatry students and why, therefore, isn't this fact common knowledge for all podiatrists??!!
  16. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    So the book by Dr. Michael Yessis isn't overly popular with readers on here I take it.

    Are there any other "mainstream" books people might recommended regarding running form/biomechanics?. Or is the article by Novacheck the most conclusive piece ever written on the subject?.

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