"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Yes, I Admit It, I’m a Heel Striker!

Over the past few weeks, I have seen so much information on foot to ground impact that I’ve almost got my hands around this whole biomechanics of the feet deal ..... almost.  But see, here’s the dilemma; I continue to hear how bad the heel strike is on the foot, knee, hip, back, elbow, vision, (you get the picture), however, I also continue to read about how many of us just can’t help it.  In fact, in a recent article, marathoners were filmed during a race.  Of the several hundred observed, over 80% of them were obvious heel strikers.  By the end of the race, that number was approaching 90%, as fatigue sets in on even the most mid-foot of strikers. Note the photo above from mile 20, which I surely hope is worst case - that sort of hurts just looking at it :(

At the same time, the barefoot, minimalist running diehards do seem to have a good point or two.  I especially enjoyed the recent RW article on the developer of the Newton shoe.  It sounds good and makes me want to try some shoes that force me to strike closer near the front of the foot, but I’ve run for so long without any issues.  Although, I’m wondering if simply taking shorter strides and ensuring that I come down under the body, as opposed to out in front, has the same effect.

What to do? Keep learning, I guess. And until I decide to try something new, let the debate continue.

Of course, look at the professionals and it’s not that much different; hmmm.....

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