why
why not forefoot strike 5/4/2007 9:58AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have been a heel striker and am moving more toward midfoot with moving my cadence upto around 180 from 165. This is working well but my knees seem to hurt more than before (I upped my cadence at the beginning of the year so it has'nt been that recent) I have read about forfoot strike and when I run barefoot I land on my forefoot. If that is the way I run barefoot why wouldn't I want to land that way with shoes. I was hopeing the forefoot landing might also take care of the knee pain.
Bekele Song - Anbessa
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/4/2007 10:29AM - in reply to why Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLg4j4gMzqA

Watch dis - midway when they show slowmo, edge on - watch dee feet. Even at their pace the Kenyan and Ethiopians are basically mid-foot, obviously this changes in the last 800 in a dead on sprint, but you should get the idea.

Geb hits slightly more fore, but he's had some AT insertional bursitis, which exacerbates his forefootedness - it doesn't hurt quite as bad landing forefoot, with reduced heel action / ROM.

Key point here:
They are basically - "bicycling" in this vid - full contact and force happen directly under their hips, knee is semi-flexed, then extension, followed by the leg being whiped back under the butt resulting in high knee lift. The high knee lift and heel under the butt is not an active pulling like the POS Pose method, it is a natural consequence of strong flexible hips and glutes. Most of the power is being delivered by the hips, trunk and unweighting just past mid stance.
Bekele Song - Anbessa
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/4/2007 10:39AM - in reply to Bekele Song - Anbessa Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Bekele Song - Anbessa
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLg4j4gMzqA

Also, I might point out that there is not much wasted energy going on - throughout, Bekele is simply freewheeling or spinning, to borrow a term from cycling - he is up to pace and is really not expending much additional energy - which allows him to be mostly aerobic until the big sprint.
Corporate Takeover
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/4/2007 11:38AM - in reply to why Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
This is a great thread with a great response, why is no one discussing this? Too much chitty chat about drunk baseball players and too many 18 yo kids indoctrinated by revisionist historians talking bad about Reagan.

In the Youtube vid, Bekele shows great either core strength or great >>core awareness<< perhaps he isn't core aware, could be unconscious. Take a gander at the Ethiopian women - steel rod in their backs - they have trunk rotation around this "rod" which allows all of the energy generated by the trunk and hips to be used for locomotion.
huh?
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/4/2007 12:41PM - in reply to Corporate Takeover Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Could please explain that in simple terms?




Corporate Takeover wrote:

This is a great thread with a great response, why is no one discussing this? Too much chitty chat about drunk baseball players and too many 18 yo kids indoctrinated by revisionist historians talking bad about Reagan.

In the Youtube vid, Bekele shows great either core strength or great >>core awareness<< perhaps he isn't core aware, could be unconscious. Take a gander at the Ethiopian women - steel rod in their backs - they have trunk rotation around this "rod" which allows all of the energy generated by the trunk and hips to be used for locomotion.
the413miler
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/4/2007 1:41PM - in reply to huh? Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

huh? wrote:

Could please explain that in simple terms?




Corporate Takeover wrote:

This is a great thread with a great response, why is no one discussing this? Too much chitty chat about drunk baseball players and too many 18 yo kids indoctrinated by revisionist historians talking bad about Reagan.

In the Youtube vid, Bekele shows great either core strength or great >>core awareness<< perhaps he isn't core aware, could be unconscious. Take a gander at the Ethiopian women - steel rod in their backs - they have trunk rotation around this "rod" which allows all of the energy generated by the trunk and hips to be used for locomotion.




What this means (correct me if I'm wrong):
"core awareness" means Bekele is keeping his upper body in an optimal running posture. Like he says, this could be because he has great core strength, which keeps his core from fatiguing and drifting out of posture without his having to think about it, or it could be because he stays aware of his core and resists the temptation to slump or twist or lean.
"steel rod in the back" means they aren't shifting side to side as they run, they aren't hunching over or "nodding" back and forth. The reason this is a good thing is that there isn't wasted motion correcting the posture with each stride and the upper body posture allows the legs to move freely. When he says that the energy used by the trunk and hips is used for locomotion, he's saying it can be used for propelling the body from one place to another.
Corporate Takeover
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/4/2007 2:56PM - in reply to the413miler Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Is there any way to slow down those youtube clips?

413, you are correct - some people have an innate sense or unconscious ability to correctly use their core - basically they do not need to think about it. For some runners, they have no core awareness - which can be trained by having someone show them proper core exercises all while telling them what they should be feeling and where they should feel it. Once someone "gets it" ... like learning to ride a bike ... then he or she can go about increasing endurance, - but until they "get it" there isn't much that can be done. Many people may have a strong core, but are not aware of how to use this strength. Proper core utilization essentially makes the trunk more rigid, pulls the hips into correct alignment and allows the glutes and hips to do most of the work. In this scheme, calves basically only add a very slight push and are used for their role as stabilizers - notice the calves of many of the Kenyans and Ethiopians - very, very small because they are not being used as primary "pushers".

The whipping or snapping of the legs forward is facilitated by strong and flexible hip flexors and glutes. The knees are really driven upwards by this action and not actively lifted.

Imagine hitting a baseball with a bat made out of rubber - energy gets absorbed by the bat and the ball does not travel very far when hit.

Also, with good running posture - the legs are essentially able to "freewheel", "spin" or as 413 pointed out "move freely" and energy is transfered easily from leg to leg almost like a wheel - hence my choice of the word "freewheeling". The wheel analogy only goes so far because a certain amount of "pogo sticking" occurs. There has always been some discussion about running being like a wheel or like a pogo stick - perhaps a wheel made out of pogo sticks would be the best thing to envision.
giancarlo
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/4/2007 3:26PM - in reply to Corporate Takeover Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
these are some of the best posts i've seen lately.

perhaps because we grow up in a society where most of us do very little physical work--we're not as agricultural--that there is not that unconcious feel for physical movement that kids from, say, ethiopia or kenya might have. we just don't move enough, in whatever fashion. so our cores won't be as strong, our bodies won't be as familiar with movement--linear or otherwise.
jaguar1
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/4/2007 9:58PM - in reply to why Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

why wrote:

I have been a heel striker and am moving more toward midfoot with moving my cadence upto around 180 from 165. This is working well but my knees seem to hurt more than before (I upped my cadence at the beginning of the year so it has'nt been that recent) I have read about forfoot strike and when I run barefoot I land on my forefoot. If that is the way I run barefoot why wouldn't I want to land that way with shoes. I was hopeing the forefoot landing might also take care of the knee pain.


Having video taped and broken down the videos under different conditions (shod vs. unshod), our mechanics are 'very different' between the two conditions. It isn't impossible to make a 'conscious' effort to run with a mid-foot/forefoot landing while in trainers. However, with the way shoes are designed (~heel lift, thick/inflexible sole, shifted center of gravity), running with a midfoor/forefoot style goes 'against' the mechanics of the shoe itself (~hence your knee pain). Obviously we don't have to contend with a heel lift/cushioning while barefoot and thus we land midfoot/forefoot to distribute the pressure/force over a greater surface area. The less heel lift/thinner/flexible the shoe, the easier it becomes to adapt more 'barefoot-like' mechanics. You can also teach yourself to land more under your center of gravity during midstance-- this is more efficient and increases your turnover. Really, the more miles you run, the more efficient you'll become too because you learn to be as conservative as possible. I've actually become a 'shuffler' since training in flats at over 100 mpw, which is a great thing for the marathon!:)

Great video! My guess is they've grown up barefoot, adopted strong feet/legs/neuromuscular pattern, and when in spikes the mechanics are essentially the same as while barefoot. It would be interesting to see what their mechanics look like in trainers.
Stan Croft
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/4/2007 10:39PM - in reply to jaguar1 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Striking on the ball of your foot is not an unnatural thing to do, even with trainers. It may go against the mechanics of the shoe but it does not go against the mechanics of the person with the shoe. In clinics with high scholl age kids I always made them take of their shoe and look at their foot. The ball of the foot is obviously the widest and most stable are of the foot. In the video the athletes were striking the ball of their foot. The heel often hits the ground even for sprinters, sometimes because of lack of stiffness in the athlete. It is easy to strike on the ball of the foot regardless of the shoe you are wearing. Simply be concious of it.

An easy way to test your core stability is to simply stand in the single support phase of your running mechanic. You can start by standing flat-footed, then try the ball of your foot, and then try it with your eyes closed. You can the imagine the amount of enrgy you are using each time you are in the single support phase. Obviously you are there only a fraction of a second each time but I think that the argument can be made that having good core stability is essential to be successful.
Idris Arslanian!
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/5/2007 12:19AM - in reply to why Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
bump
mr know it all
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/5/2007 12:37AM - in reply to jaguar1 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
oh, I forgot, silly me, jag1 knows everthing about Nutrition AND biomechanics.

Jag1, what other topics are you a self-styled expert in?

Question: if heel lifts are sooooo horrible and bad for one, then why did Geb ADD one to his shoes after having achilles problems?

(and by the way, you were wrong about several things on the protein thread, but I didn't have the time or the energy to correct you on all of them, because you wouldn't have listened anyway....because you're the "expert." )
why
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/7/2007 10:38AM - in reply to why Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
So I can run forefoot/midfoot no problem barefoot and at lower speeds in my speedstars but when I pick up the tempo a little I can't seem to do it without it feeling weird. My feet end up scuffing the ground alot. It is much louder that my normal running. Well I am up for a new pair of shoes, do you guys think adizero rc which is a little less than the speedstar or puma h street? I think both will help me get more on my forefoot/midfoot but do not know if I should go to the puma quite yet? I guess I am just scared of the more minimal. But when I run barefoot I almost feel less impact than when I have my tainers on (less jaring) ie. foot strike.
why
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/7/2007 6:07PM - in reply to why Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I looked and found that Puma h streets are hard to come by in the size I need. Where do you guys buy them? From what I have read they are pretty popular on this site.
wellnow
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/8/2007 11:20AM - in reply to why Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Puma High streets are NOT running shoes. They are good on grass or track, but they are not anywhere near as good as a pair of real racing flats, which are designed for the job.
Jasper Lamar Crabbe
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/8/2007 11:44AM - in reply to wellnow Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

wellnow wrote:

Puma High streets are NOT running shoes. They are good on grass or track, but they are not anywhere near as good as a pair of real racing flats, which are designed for the job.


Not High Streets. H Street = street Harambee.

It's a matter of taste and fit. I think they're pretty good on the road or track, roughly equivalent to the Nike Streak XC or Forever. I also gather from their fans' postings that the H Streets last for hundreds of miles.

I think there are still some versions available at Zappos. Always some at eBay.
jaguar1
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/8/2007 12:10PM - in reply to wellnow Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

wellnow wrote:

Puma High streets are NOT running shoes. They are good on grass or track, but they are not anywhere near as good as a pair of real racing flats, which are designed for the job.


I put in 100+ mpw training at a high level, about 80% roads, rotating between the Puma H Streets and Puma Cortlandts. Both shoes are excellent on the roads. I can get over 1000 miles/pair. I've been doing it for 3 1/2 years now and this is the healthiest I've ever been and most consistent training I've ever done. I've probably averaged 80 mpw the past 3 years and am averaging over 100 mpw this year. I've put in substantially more miles the past 3 years than I did the previous 8 years of wearing trainers and dealing with 7 stress fractures and countless other chronic injuries. When I made the switch, I actually started out in 'real' racing flats (~Asics Tiger Paws), but found them to be too soft and giving me shin pain-- this was while wearing them on grass for only a week. They can't even compare to the comfort of the Puma's.
desert rodent
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/8/2007 1:15PM - in reply to why Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

why wrote:

I looked and found that Puma h streets are hard to come by in the size I need. Where do you guys buy them? From what I have read they are pretty popular on this site.


I believe it's either Famous Footwear or Payless has the Puma H Street on a consistent basis; however they are usually found on the women's side of the store; so you had better be able to fit into women's size shoes.
Average_Joe
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/8/2007 2:51PM - in reply to why Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

why wrote:
Well I am up for a new pair of shoes, do you guys think adizero rc which is a little less than the speedstar or puma h street? I think both will help me get more on my forefoot/midfoot but do not know if I should go to the puma quite yet?


I just ran a marathon with some serious downhill in Adizero RCs and my legs feel no worse than when I ran Chicago.

I think if your feet are really working properly, you'll get far more cushion from them than you will from shoes anyway.
why
RE: why not forefoot strike 5/8/2007 6:53PM - in reply to Average_Joe Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
bump