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Running Biomechanics & Foot Attire Of The Best Runners In The World

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by BEN-HUR, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

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    Snippets taken of the running biomechanics (i.e. lower limb), foot strike & foot attire (i.e. footwear) of what many regard the best runners in the world - the Kenyans (alongside Ethiopia; yet Kenya tend to have more depth). I have heard & read many times that Kenyans are able to transfer their barefoot running biomechanics/foot strike tendency into shod (footwear) running... this doesn't seem to be always the case. Fortunately the film maker/camera man had the insight to film quite a few scenes of the documentary focussing on the lower limb biomechanics & subsequent foot strike & foot attire... thus we are able to assess the variety of lower limb biomechanics of these fast runners.

    You will notice that some lower limb biomechanics/foot strike patterns do not fit the paradigm of what has been stated in research/discussions of this nature.

    There is more to high performance than the deemed ideal biomechanics & foot strike placement... however, it is certainly part of a diverse package that contributes to success in this demanding sport.

    I rather take notice of what these guys are doing than those prancing around in the barefoot brigade!... but you notice the key exponents of this movement don't like to dwell on performance... the above Kenyans can runs circles around those Tarahumara Indians!... & run times that these key exponents can only dream of - there is a big difference between a 2hr. marathon & a 4hr. marathon (the result of one so deemed guru of the movement).
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  2. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I recently discovered the following very interesting video on Kenyan runners. It is a documentary about why the Kenyan athletes are so consistently dominant in middle & long distance running...

    The researchers attempt to find the main cause for their consistent good performance i.e. diet, altitude, activity level from a young age etc... They then narrowed it down on the issue of efficiency - the Kenyans appear to be running more efficiently than their western counterparts... they then attempt to narrow this down further. The conclusion is quite interesting (i.e. lower leg mass). Which should be of little surprise with members here (i.e. analogy: shoe mass & efficiency).

    However, I believe there no one reason that makes them great athletes. It is a combination of many things: lifestyle, diet, training environment/terrain, training groups (i.e. train with 5 sub-28 min. 10km runners or 5 sub-2:10 marathoners - what would you expect), altitude, attitude (self belief based on performance of runners in your village/training group), a focus of technique drills, relaxing under stress/speed etc... lower leg mass is certainly a factor.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  3. Don't forget the huge factor that if a boy becomes an elite distance runner in a country such as Kenya, he and his family could literally go from poverty to riches in a few short months with the winnings from his races. Financial gain is a great motivator for many athletes....just look at what Lance Armstrong did to become a millionaire.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016

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