Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mid Foot vs. Heel Strike in Running: Finally Starting to Understand What's Best for Who., Article Competitor

Competitor has a great article by Tom Michaud summarizing the latest research. He starts by... walking where a heel strike is 53% more efficient and the fact that most joggers heel strike first then... speeds up from there.

  • The faster you go the more metabolically efficient a mid foot landing becomes. Recent research is suggesting that at a pace of 6:25 per mile most are just as efficient mid or rear foot striking. Slower that that and most runners are more economical with a rear foot landing. 
  • Even in minimal footwear 35% of runners strike the ground heel first, ouch! as "heel striking is too efficient to give up"
  • Yet, Michaud goes further, and is more nuanced, as those with recurrent knee pain should consider working towards a mid foot strike as it "significantly reduces stress on the knee." and especially so "for faster runners with wide forefeet and flexible Achilles tendons." 
  • "Conversely, runners with a history of Achilles, forefoot, and/or plantar fascial injuries should almost always make initial contact along the outside of the heel, because contrary to what many running experts say, striking the ground heel first is safe and efficient."
I think this article makes a lot of sense and provides not only scientific explanation but also valuable variations on the theme of mid vs rear foot striking that can help many runners with injuries.

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