Thursday, May 10, 2007
Running Form: Why landing on forefoot is better than heel 2
I remember about 10 months back, I posted something on why forefoot landing is better than heel. I put up this drawing of my something just stuck me as i was looking back at this that maybe i should add more simple demonstration using something we learn in sec sch physics: F =ma, where F is the vector force with a direction and m is the mass with a the acceleration of the body. I being trying to convince myself and hopefully others that there is a simple and yet difficult to achieve way to solve the modern running injuries, especially the knee by consulting doc to find out where is the damages done, do physio and getting the “right” running shoes --> correct running technique. The solution is to find the correct running technique. This is the reason why, i have been looking at pose method for the past 1-2 years. The most basic and simplest concept to take home is to land below your CG and on the forefoot rather than the heel. Here, i put up more in the diagram with simple physic F=ma explanation: When landing on forefoot below CG, the force on the whole leg or rather the knee the force F1 = mass of th person x acceleration due to gravity. As it is perpendicular to the direction of motion of the person. No matter how fast the person run and how much increase in acceleration in the horizontal direction which cause the increase in horizontal F1h, the force F1 on the knees is the same. However, for the case of landing on the heel. The force F2 on the knee which is also the braking force is not the same case as above. The force F2 has 2 components: Fh – The horizontal force due to acceleration forward and Fv – The vertical force due to pull of gravity which is the same as F1 mentioned in the previous case. So F2 = Fh + Fv > F1, as Fv = F1 Furthermore, as the acceleration of the runner increase, Fh will increase which resulted in F2 increase. So more force will be exerted on the knee. So conclusion, landing on forefoot will cause less stress than landing on heel, especially for running who speed. Definitely, there are other factors for injuries like over-use of muscles due to over-training, accidental injuries, unbalanced muscle strength and inelastic muscles. So next time if your knees hurts, no point blaming your heartless shoes. Think of how to improve your technique rather than improving your time. This will not only save your knees, prolong your running life, it will also help to you save $$ as those expensive hi-tech shoes are no longer needed with proper technique. remember what Leonardo Da Vinci said: "The human foot is a work of art and a masterpiece of engineering." Warning: Changing running technique is a long slow process, which requires high level of determination and discipline. If it is done without control and moderation, it will cause more injuries as a result.