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View Full Version : Interesting read about footstrike during running


Allen Yeh
04-02-2008, 04:18 AM
A long but interesting blog post about footstrike.
http://scienceofsport.blogspot.com/2008/04/running-technique-footstrike.html

I personally have changed from heelstriking with much improvement, and try to land midfoot.

For any of those interested in running shoes a lengthy series about it:
http://scienceofsport.blogspot.com/2008/01/featured-series-on-science-of-sport.html

Mike ODonnell
04-02-2008, 07:55 AM
Moral of the story....running for 3 to 4 hours is not a good idea no matter what part of the foot you land on. Too each his own....and I want no part of that.

Allen Yeh
04-02-2008, 07:59 AM
Moral of the story....running for 3 to 4 hours is not a good idea no matter what part of the foot you land on. Too each his own....and I want no part of that.

Seriously...even if a bear was chasing me...I think after running 3-4 hours I'd just let him eat me.

Mike ODonnell
04-02-2008, 08:04 AM
Seriously...even if a bear was chasing me...I think after running 3-4 hours I'd just let him eat me.

Don't they only chase you when you run? See.....running can kill you!

Patrick Donnelly
04-02-2008, 06:00 PM
Wait... Is that guy saying we shouldn't try to run on our forefeet because we, unlike elites, aren't fast, and should never hope to be?


I guess we should all reverse curl our cleans too, because there's no f'ing way I'm ever getting 450# overhead!

Allen Yeh
04-03-2008, 04:05 AM
Wait... Is that guy saying we shouldn't try to run on our forefeet because we, unlike elites, aren't fast, and should never hope to be?


I guess we should all reverse curl our cleans too, because there's no f'ing way I'm ever getting 450# overhead!

I got a few things out of it. Like if you were a heel striker you shouldn't just completely flip it all around because you can get injuries that way. For all the hype surrounding forefoot striking it didn't seem to be shown in the data from this marathon.

While their writing style is a bit to be desired I think they care more about what the data says than trying to push one certain agenda. They did a piece on POSE and Chirunning also which wasn't negative.

Tom Rawls
04-03-2008, 06:57 AM
Seriously...even if a bear was chasing me...I think after running 3-4 hours I'd just let him eat me.

No need to train for a marathon bear escape. The bear is faster than you, and he'd catch you in about 30 seconds.

Allen Yeh
04-03-2008, 07:18 AM
No need to train for a marathon bear escape. The bear is faster than you, and he'd catch you in about 30 seconds.

d'oh!

Mike ODonnell
04-03-2008, 07:20 AM
Yeah but...how does the bear run? Heels? Front of the paws? Best defense like always....stop and act like a tree.

Garrett Smith
04-03-2008, 10:01 AM
Put simply, the only way humans can run with a heelstrike is because of shoes.

The only way to utilize the spring action of the foot arches is to land on the fore or midfoot.

Landing on a bone (heel bone aka calcaneus) coupled with the knee fully (or close to fully) extended transfers force up into the pelvis and spine at incredible rates.

It all simply makes too much sense to me. With heelstrike running, it's not a matter of if the injuries will happen, it's only a matter of when.

Scott Kustes
04-03-2008, 01:06 PM
It really makes sense when you think about it in an evolutionary framework. We were more sprinters and walkers, rather than distance joggers. You cannot sprint with a heel strike.

Dr. G, send someone out running barefoot with a heel strike and I bet injuries occur REAL quick.

Mike ODonnell
04-03-2008, 01:13 PM
All the Paleo joggers were eaten by a T-Rex....the sprinters were able to live and repopulate....we are just lacking any T-Rexs nowadays....

Darryl Shaw
04-19-2008, 05:58 AM
It really makes sense when you think about it in an evolutionary framework. We were more sprinters and walkers, rather than distance joggers. You cannot sprint with a heel strike.

If you think about it almost all childhood running games are sprints. It's as though we know instinctively what our bodies need to learn in terms of exercise as children and we only start to screw things up when we hit adulthood. It's same with strength training; kids don't train to failure, adults do.

Garrett Smith
04-19-2008, 09:50 PM
Scott,
I totally agree. I think most of the time it was walking OR running fast. Power law stuff.

This middle ground LSD stuff is mostly a modern thing, IMO.

Dave Van Skike
04-20-2008, 10:02 AM
As much as I dislike running, the anthropological scientific record is not as clear as you'd like. Humans are uniquley adapted to long steady distances and there is ample evidence to suggest that low intesity and variable efforts are part of our unique abilty to migrate, hunt, forage etc.

As for LSD being modern, maybe modern like late paleolithic, early neolithic. ther are plenty of pre/non-agricultural cultures that relied on it. Indiginous N Americans and polynesians in open boat rowing for slave trade, hunting fishing, migration. Predecessors of the Masai and Nur of ethiopia hunting, driving cattle, goats etc.

Arien Malec
04-20-2008, 11:41 AM
All the Paleo joggers were eaten by a T-Rex....the sprinters were able to live and repopulate....we are just lacking any T-Rexs nowadays....

Seeing as paleo people were also missing T-Rex, I'm not sure how this is relevant.

I would encourage anyone who has doubts about the evolutionary fitness of endurance running to rent Disc 4 of The Life of Mammals with David Attenborough (the rest of the series is, of course, worth seeing as well).

After you see a Bushman literally running a Kudu to death, any neat theories about how endurance running is maladaptive will collapse like the prey...

Darryl Shaw
04-21-2008, 05:56 AM
Seeing as paleo people were also missing T-Rex, I'm not sure how this is relevant.

I would encourage anyone who has doubts about the evolutionary fitness of endurance running to rent Disc 4 of The Life of Mammals with David Attenborough (the rest of the series is, of course, worth seeing as well).

After you see a Bushman literally running a Kudu to death, any neat theories about how endurance running is maladaptive will collapse like the prey...

I don't think we can use the example of a Bushman running a kudu to death as an example of evolutionary fitness because hunting in such a manner is quite a gamble in terms of calories expended against the risk that the kudu might excape which is why most hunter-gatherers rely on stealth or traps to put meat on the table. I think the only reason that a bushman would waste so much energy chasing a kudu would be if they were certain they had a ready supply of calories available from other sources which suggests to me that roots and tubers must be a staple part of their diet.
I doubt that LSD running would have been a major part of paleolithic life simply because it's too inefficient in terms of energy expenditure in comparison with walking. I think given that even the leanest individual has enough fat to walk for days but only enough glycogen to run for a couple of hours walking would have been the usual means of covering long distances leaving glycogen reserves intact ready for short sudden burts of activity eg. fight or flight, when speed could mean the difference between life and death.

Arien Malec
04-21-2008, 09:15 AM
I don't think we can use the example of a Bushman running a kudu to death as an example of evolutionary fitness because hunting in such a manner is quite a gamble in terms of calories expended against the risk that the kudu might escape which is why most hunter-gatherers rely on stealth or traps to put meat on the table.

It's worth noting references to the following studies:

http://yannklimentidis.blogspot.com/2007/01/persistence-hunting.html
http://www.publicanthropology.org/Archive/Ca1984.htm
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-11/uou-hrm111204.php

I'd also note that any form of hunting has a high energy expenditure and failure rate. The reason persistence hunting might have been efficient is that, once you separate the animal from the herd, the main challenge is keeping up and keeping the trail (as opposed to a once and succeed or miss sprint and strike).

It's further worth noting that once you run the animal down, you need drag the meat back a long freaking way to camp, so persistence hunters aren't frail.

Dave Van Skike
04-21-2008, 09:39 AM
Sprinting deer hunters go hungry.

Arien Malec
04-21-2008, 09:53 AM
I think given that even the leanest individual has enough fat to walk for days but only enough glycogen to run for a couple of hours...

It's worth picking on this sentence. The persistence hunter in the documentary was not carb loading, was as lean as any competitive body builder, and yet managed to run for well more than a couple of hours in the blazing heat.

It's a dubious proposition that man evolved solely under the pressures of persistence hunting, but the presence of persistence hunting is a strong counter-argument to the premise that endurance running is maladaptive.

Garrett Smith
04-21-2008, 05:37 PM
Okay, so maybe LSD running isn't maladaptive. Then again, how often were these hunters being asked to run this way? My best guess would be a couple times a week, tops...

Dave Van Skike
04-21-2008, 06:02 PM
Okay, so maybe LSD running isn't maladaptive. Then again, how often were these hunters being asked to run this way? My best guess would be a couple times a week, tops...

that would be a *guess*.

you're in AZ, go chase down a couple javelina and get back to us with some data.

otoh. a "couple times a week" corresponds to about the amount of times per week an elite endurance athlete might hit long runs.

Darryl Shaw
04-22-2008, 05:50 AM
It's worth noting references to the following studies:

http://yannklimentidis.blogspot.com/2007/01/persistence-hunting.html
http://www.publicanthropology.org/Archive/Ca1984.htm
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-11/uou-hrm111204.php

I'd also note that any form of hunting has a high energy expenditure and failure rate. The reason persistence hunting might have been efficient is that, once you separate the animal from the herd, the main challenge is keeping up and keeping the trail (as opposed to a once and succeed or miss sprint and strike).

It's further worth noting that once you run the animal down, you need drag the meat back a long freaking way to camp, so persistence hunters aren't frail.

Thank's for the links; interesting stuff.
I had a quick look through my copy of The Hunting Peoples by Carleton S. Coon (sadly now out of print) last night and couldn't find any references to persistence hunting so those links filled a gap in my knowledge. :)

I disagree that all forms of hunting involve a high energy expenditure as the more common forms of hunting such as bow hunting from a hide, trapping or simply sneaking up on your lunch and throwing a stick at it are all fairly low intensity activities compared with running a kudu to death.


Originally Posted by Darryl Shaw
I think given that even the leanest individual has enough fat to walk for days but only enough glycogen to run for a couple of hours...

It's worth picking on this sentence. The persistence hunter in the documentary was not carb loading, was as lean as any competitive body builder, and yet managed to run for well more than a couple of hours in the blazing heat.

It's a dubious proposition that man evolved solely under the pressures of persistence hunting, but the presence of persistence hunting is a strong counter-argument to the premise that endurance running is maladaptive.

How can you sure that the bushmen aren't carb loading given that roots, tubers and maize based porridges are staple foods throughout most of Africa?

This is pure speculation on my part but I would guess that roots, tubers and porridges must be a staple part of the bushmans diet because they would have no reason not to make use of such an readily available source of energy and it's this regular intake of carbs that allows them to expend so much energy on a fairly high risk hunting strategy such as running a kudu to death.

Dave Van Skike
04-22-2008, 07:33 AM
Persistence hunting is theorized to be one of the oldest hunting forms, maize arrived on the eastern part of the continent in the 1600's at the earliest.

Mike ODonnell
04-22-2008, 08:38 AM
http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/dro1081l.jpg

Scott Kustes
04-22-2008, 09:39 AM
Having read The Old Way by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas about the !Kung in the Kalahari, Darryl is right that the Bushmen consume quite a load of roots and tubers. In fact, while the men bring home the coveted meat, the women bring home the staple roots that are eaten daily.

Dave Van Skike
04-22-2008, 10:36 AM
Carb loading is not maladaptive? Excellent.

I shall have the Corn Pops with antelope blood.

brandon merson
11-11-2008, 12:23 PM
Running is the natural way to hunt. If you were to examine our ancestors, they did not walk to get their protein. If they had, I'm sure either starvation or vegetarianism ensued.

As for foot strike, take off those ridiculous things you call 'running shoes.' Again going back to our roots, they didn't rely on Air Max to establish a cushion for ground strike. Barefoot was all that was available and anyone who has ran barefoot doesn't even think to let that heel touch.

I attended the Crossfit Running/Endurance Certification a little over a month ago. It is now understood that operating within the laws of Nature, injury prevention/avoidance is real.