Sunday, January 27, 2013

Is There One Right Way to Run?

6 comments:

Sequoia_XC said...

Props to Coach Pup! .. Excellent Article

Anonymous said...

This article is very interesting. Would any coaches mind sharing their opinion on how to prevent running related injuries when running on concrete is somewhat inevitable?

Steve Palladino said...

Vary nice article. What I'd like to see: a study that follows footstrike at LT pace in runners longitudinally from relatively deconditioned state to higher level fitness. I would hypothesize that the footstrike would naturally migrate from more towards the hindfoot to more towards the midfoot/ forefoot as fitness is gained over time.
The extension of this hypothesis is that running form (and efficiency) follows fitness. To me, this has practical application in that focusing on running form drills is akin to putting the cart before the horse.

Peter Brewer said...

Anonymous at 5:40 p.m.:
I would put forward the idea that running on concrete or asphalt as a surface is no more conducive to injury than running on trails or dirt or artificil track surfaces. It is the running gait and the overall strenth of the athlete that determines the possible disposition to injury.
"Running light" is the operative mental framework. Those who plod and are new to runners will break down far more easily than any other runners, regardless of how much cushioning their shoes have. Likewise, the barefooters and such who have been at it for a time can endure miles and miles on the harder, incompressible surfaces.
The audio reinfocement is key too. If a runner can hear the footstrike, then he or she is definitely not "running lightly."
All of this is distressingly lacking in technical analysis. The study mentioned in the article shows that the type of footstrike with regards to the spot on the sole is no dependable indicator of speed or of injury-resistant style, which suggests that some other type of focus on running style might be better pursued for some answers.
Until then, I'm going with "be comfortable in your stride" and "stay upright to get your hips involved" and "stay light" and "don't pound" as my methods of avoiding running injuries, regardless of running surface.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Kids please keep pounding the concrete. Every day if possible. Never run trails.

Remember when in doubt, keep it on the Crete.

In all seriousness I notice a huge difference, not in injury, but in fatigue and length of recovery when I run on pavement rather than trails. Just sayin'

Nils said...

Anonymous 8:22,
It's like having a job standing up for 8 hrs/day on concrete, vs on a rubber mat. World of difference to your back, knees etc. Peter Brewer's advice is good, but I think staying off pavement when possible is an obvious good.