January 30, 2013
Form Tip #1: Strike the ground as if you’re pushing a scooter
This is the first in a series of tips for biomechanics and form. When, running a marathon you will need to exert a lot of energy and put a lot of strain on your body. Taking a little time to improve form will make you run more efficiently and reduce the damage to your body.
This week’s tip is the most basic fundamental of running: How to push yourself forward!
Some runners can lose a lot of energy “pounding the pavement.” That’s the opposite of what you want to do! Forcing pressure down will just waste a lot of energy and damage your body.
What runners really need to do is to push backwards. By Newton’s Laws, for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. By pushing forcefully backwards, you’ll go forward. As demonstrated in this video, the motion you want to achieve with your foot is the same as pushing a scooter or skateboard. This means that you should land on your midfoot or forefoot, and your foot should land almost below you. This means you may need more steps, but you will be more efficient and do less damage to your body over the course of the marathon.