Lara asked today’s Coaches Corner question as she wanted to know about how to run efficiently and the terminology that goes with it
Over striding: look many running over stride resulting in the heel striking the floor first – this is a breaking action causing you to slow down and also aid to the increase chances of injury as a result. You should think about running in a phone box. This will stop you from over striding.
Heel, toe, forefoot style: there are three classic styles of foot strike. Heel strike is common and the cause for slow running as the heel strike action is a breaking action so you are working against your body. Some people run on their toes such as the Brownlees. You need to be light to tolerate this kind of action otherwise the calves take all the load and therefore injury risk. Forefoot is more commonly seen as the most efficient action – linked towards bare foot. The contact point is on the front section where the body can continue the momentum now forwards rather than a breaking action like the heel style. Link this to cadence as in order to increase cadence your action will move towards forefoot style
Bare foot: this style comes in and out of favour and is linked towards our natural running style without the aid of trainers which could stop your natural running action. If you look at slow motion pictures of Masi warriors you will see that they strike the group with the forefoot but the toes are allowed to spread wider than being restricted by a trainer. This is seen to be an efficient way of running. Practice running on soft surfaces such as grass then progress to trails and finally roads.
Cadence: if you look to the best runners, they look to strike the ground (cadence) between 180 – 200 steps per minute. They do this whether they are racing full out or jogging. What they change Is their stride length. You need to slowly look to increase your cadence levels as this will take time for the body to adjust. Some watches have a metronome function – if not buy one off ebay for around £4. The ideal running cadence should half of your cycling cadence so the transition from cycling to running. So if you ride at 90rpm on the bike then 180 is your goal running cadence.