Friday, September 10, 2010

RRT98: Running Form (and some stuff on shoes too)

An interesting time, at least, was had by all as a panel discussed Running Form. Is there a take-away? It's not for us to say. We will say it's worth a listen.

Among the things we discussed:
  • Pete has some super slo-mo videos from Boston (the below stills are from them).
  • A study of Marine recruits on whether the type of shoes matter.
  • Mark had nice things to say about Evolution Running's video.
  • Mark also said using a techno-beat of 180 a minute helps increase the cadence; you can get it at
  • Brandon Wood had good information on Jason's site on the transition to a forefoot stride (if that's something you want to do).
On the issue of stride frequency, Steve followed up with this:

Also, I wanted to give some concrete numbers to Mark's question last night. I'm pretty sure it was Mark who asked me about the East African runner's stride frequencies. I wanted to give some concrete numbers. A runner, and now scientist, who I competed against in college sent me these results a year or so ago. He took 6 Kenyan's who ran at UTEP and measured a variety of biomechanical things at various speeds. These guys were top runners who grew up in Kenya then came over to the US for college to run, so it gives us an interesting glimpse into Kenyan running. The interesting thing with cadence measurments is that they measured it at a variety of speeds from pretty slow for them to relatively fast. When looking at the paces keep in mind that these guys are all 14min or faster 5k runners. Just to give you an idea on relative pace, the 7:40 would be a really slow jog. The 6:43= easy distance run pace, 5:58=normal distance run pace 5:22=steady, uptempo, marathon pace kind of effort. And 4:58 pace is probably right around threshold pace.
Pace per mile Avg. Cadence
7:40 175
6:43 181
5:58 185
5:22 191
4:58 196

"Distance runners and coaches seem to hate the topic of running form. Most subscribe to the idea that a runner will naturally find his best stride and that stride should not be changed." Steve Magness continues, "It’s my belief that the wide range of 'correct' ways to run has led to this apathetic attitude towards running form changes by most athletes and coaches. The argument that running is a natural movement that should not be corrected is easy to dispel."

Taking a look at Steve's series, Pete Larson put up on of his own, On Running Form. Pete took a look at some high-speed/slow-motion videos he had taken at Boston (those are the leaders in the photo) and drilled down to the $64,000 Question: What about heel-strike?

Meanwhile Jason Kehl's blog Geeks in Running Shoes (with Raymond King) got into the act, linking to Pete's blog and, in a separate entry, referred to Jeff Kline's posts about "the" proper form.

Mark U. wrote into his blog Run In America concerning the mid-foot/minimalist cause, his efforts to change his form and his improvement.

Hosted by Joe Garland. Give it a listen: