🎓 📝 LAB REPORT-365 📝 🎓
#61 Running: One of the most misunderstood skills in human movement.

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In my experience 99% of people, (recreational exerciser through strength coaches) have little or no understanding of running mechanics. The running community tends to prioritize volume (km’s) over skill and form.

Part one: Science
In this first post lets look at 5 areas of science in running we can’t argue:

Gravity
Ground reaction force
Muscular qualities
Momentum
Torque

1: Gravity, has the same affect on everything in same way. A forward lean (change in placement of center of gravity) will cause forward translation.

2: Ground Reaction Force, of the foot strike to allow you to continually move forward and absorbing force, this is why “heel striking” (heel hits the ground in front of the center of mass instead of the forefoot under the center of mass) is bad for runners. The heel strike will cause you to absorb force incorrectly leading to injury, often chronic injuries (eg back pain).

3: Muscular qualities, both elasticity and contractility are critical to one another in the process of running. The better we can use muscle elasticity the less muscle contraction is required, meaning a more energy efficient movement is achieved. This can only happen in optimal positions, which a heel strike is not.

4: Momentum, keeps us in motion, and once in motion it is easier to maintain a set pace because we are out of the acceleration phase.

5: Torque, as we translate forward we are creating torque through our feet to our body. This prevents us falling on our face and if done correctly allows us to stabilize the rest of the body through motion creating better efficiency and less risk of injury.

Using the above principles it is obvious that a better, injury free running will run faster for longer. In part two we will look at running mechanics.

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Cam Burnside – B.App.Sci (HONS)