Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Runnnig Mechanics

I've never thought much about the way I run - not since my cross country coach complimented me for how straight I ran. But as I've been running and reading more about running, I've begun thinking about running mechanics.

I'm thinking about it because I want to be a more efficient runner. I don't want to waste energy or to risk injury because of the mechanics of running.

Yesterday I realized I'm a pretty solid heel-striker. I probably could have guessed that because of the heel wear on my shoes (the back outside of the heels is always the first place to show wear). But yesterday, I was taking the baby for a walk, and I didn't bother to put on shoes; we just went. So I'm pushing the stroller, barefooting it, and I realize I heel strike. I've been reading some of the arguments about heel vs. midfoot striking, and I don't think there's a "right" answer. Just observations.

But it's made me think about the mechanics of my running and it's made me wonder: how does one even go about changing one's mechanics?


Greg said...

You know, I've wondered the same thing. I believe there are drills that can help with that, and also using VFF's or even running barefoot can force you to change your habit. But more importantly, I wonder like you do whether it is even worth it. I don't know if you follow Runblogger but he writes a lot on foot strike, shoe selection, etc. As a biomechanics professor, even he is beginning to doubt whether foot strike is that significant of a factor in running speed or injuries.

The Thief said...

The big thing is I don't know if it's worth it to change my strike. I'll keep reading Runblogger - what I've seen of his stuff is really good.

The Sister said...

does this reflect in how you walk as well? because I even notice that my walk can be funny (yeah, yeah, I walk funny) and wonder how that contributes to foot/leg pain. I think you're supposed to walk heel first, right?

The Thief said...

Jenny, I'm sure that the way we walk also can lead to or prevent leg/foot pain, but it's only part of the equation.

As a follow-up, I tried mid-foot striking on my run today. It was exhausting!