07-04-12, 04:33 PM #41
I must note that the guy in the youtube video on 'proper running technique' seems to have missed that his example on the right of 'proper' or 'after instruction' running technique has her head violently bouncing up and down with each step. To wit: she flunks the practical running style test. I also like how he labels the left example as the 'injury - prone' style of heel first running too - no bias there, eh? I would have to guess that he is a rank novice at the sport with a cell phone camera, an Internet hookup and very little time on the trails. Also that he is not prone to migraine headaches as that style advice can sure bring one on right quickly.
We have hundreds of tendons to support our heads as we run so as to keep it level and not bounce, why would one then ignore that and run such that their head bounced up and down? Us trail geezers refer to that as "spinal clackers" (as in the Beatles tune) because that violent shaking can give you a lot of pain later from the head on down. Yeah, it looks real neat when you slap your' butt with your heels as you go down the trail, but you will run out of steam after a while of wasting energy that way.
Successful long - term runners roll from heel to toe smoothly, keeping their feet close to the ground, conserving energy and minimizing motion. This allows us to go a very long distance on an ongoing basis without injury.
Sure, if you want to sprint quickly you gotta get up on the balls of your feet to do that, but if you try to stay on the balls of your feet for 25 miles while slapping your' butt with your heels each step, you are going to fail miserably.
Running is the art of placing your feet before you alternately as you constantly fall forward. Proper posture, breathing and smooth motion are the focus. There is no staccato or percussive motion involved. There is no 'locking out' of anything. Style is indeed of paramount importance, but sprinting style will not work for distance and it is unfortunate that there are people out there advising others to do that, especially when their own instructional videos show the flaw in their technique.
I deeply appreciate the social significance of following the current 'bare foot running' fad and the dire need to be stylish. Try that here in Detroit and you will come home wearing a dozen broken bottles worth of glass in your feet. I would add to enjoy your' fallen arches as well. But then, I have only been running for 45 years now, and at 61 can only squeeze out 7 miles a day 7 days a week, so maybe I don't really know what I am talking about...
...and the last serious injury I got was a torn meniscus from swinging myself up on an antique saddle.
07-04-12, 06:46 PM #42
Stoniphi, I'm chuckling at the irony, not your injury, and thinking that you are probably in better shape from all your running than most backyard horses.
I post some links just for interest and conversation, not because I may agree with everything they contain. In watching any running or race walking event, one will observe great variety between individual styles. It's rather humorous that some maintain there is only one correct style when humans come in so many shapes and sizes. Economy of motion and efficiency may generally apply but there are always exceptions to the rule.
Were I a horse, I'd be said to have a 'daisy-clipper' stride. I lift my feet high enough to clear the terrain being traveled and no more.
07-05-12, 12:24 AM #43
Thing is Stoniphi, if you watch the human body in motion, you best conserve your energy by landing and springing off the forefoot, using it as a spring, where as with a heel-strike, you have to utilize primarily your thigh and calf to obtain motion. Now, yeah, the bobbing of the head is... well, it's funny as hell actually, because a good forefoot landing will eliminate most of the upper-body movement completely - after all, you would be pulling your legs forward and pushing rearward off of them, as opposed to landing on them and kicking off the ground - the direction in which you apply your energy is vastly different. I can say from personal experience than when I run in my lightweight trainers (which weigh less than a pound each) and am able to run properly, I tire much less slowly than when I'm forced to run in, say, my hiking boots or my work shoes, which both have highly limited flexibility and result in, at best, a flat-footed landing.
07-05-12, 07:06 AM #44
It was a saddle made by the Colorado Saddle Company in 1870, belonged to a customer, hadn't been properly maintained so the motion of the stirrup was bound up a bit. I had on running shoes, and those don't pivot at all, so when I swung myself up on the saddle my knee did the pivoting rather than the stirrup. Easily remedied with a bit of care, though. The saddle, that is. I didn't notice the torn meniscus for a couple of days when I got water behind the knee. 3 years later I still have a bit of swelling there, very little pain though - hasn't stopped me. I 'snoozed' for a minute, didn't think to consider the saddle may not have been properly maintained, just treated it like it was any other saddle. My bad.
Again, it is one thing to sprint a short distance on the balls of your feet and quite another to run many miles that way. My goal is to bang out about 50 miles a week. Since I run every day, I must be very conservative with my style. I am 61 years old, and that also comes into consideration as to my speed. I pick my feet up just far enough to clear obstacles on the trails. On the straight - of - ways they barely come off the ground. I keep my toes pointed straight ahead and roll from heel to toe with my eyes on the horizon to maintain good posture. I swing my arms to conserve forward momentum, holding my elbows out so as to avoid underarm 'road rash'.
Observing a head bounce as a person runs is the easiest way to spot bad style. If your head doesn't bounce when you run, then you are likely running with good style. The trick is to lean forward far enough that you begin to fall forward, then catch that fall with your' feet resulting in forward motion - a continuous falling forward, as it were.
For sure leg length, personal aerobic capacity, speed, distance and gear all influence your style. I must wear a gel - sole running shoe due to a bout of incipient plantar faciitus a few years ago, and I gotta wear Aesics as they are the only ones that have been wide enough to accommodate my 'duck feet'. I wear a 10 & 1/2 4E. I am not tall and slim like many runners, I am shorter and large - used to do power lifting, kickboxing and martial arts power breaking. Have always admired those big boys in the World's Strongest Man competition, sorta look like that only smaller.
If I spring too much off my calves I get charlie-horses in them and those really hurt. If I need to sprint I do get up on the balls of my feet until I am done, usually when I get across the street I am crossing, no more. While I can easily hit 12 mph on the flat, usually I putt along at about 5.5 mph most of the time, slower in the bush. I take frequent breaks to play fetch and tug-o-war with my 90 pound American Field Yellow Labrador Retriever as well as she needs that and it mixes in a bit of upper - body exercise every day.
07-05-12, 10:28 AM #45
If you are rolling from heel to toe that's fine - you are still absorbing the impact in a forward motion. Many people, though, simply slam down on the heel of their foot, jarring the impact up their legs and spine, creating a lot of pressure on the knee and hip joints. That's where the forefoot running can really help, as you get a "spring" in there to counter that pressure.
07-05-12, 10:51 AM #46
07-05-12, 09:09 PM #47
I had to run once with shin splints. OUCH! Don't recommend that. (Ouch OUUCH! S$h|T what a big OUCH! )
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