Running Injuries-Running Form

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 41,973
    Running Form Expert Danny Abshire demonstrates how to execute the proper running form in order to prevent injuries.

    Danny Abshire: Hello, I am Danny Abshire. We are here in Boulder, Colorado again. We are with Newton Running and we are here to talk about Running Form. This is a big factor in injuries. We have studied this for over 15 years, we have watched runners of all types. What we have found is if you take your shoes off and you run barefoot, whether thats on grass or concrete, you will notice several distinct things other than having shoes on. You will notice that you land very lightly to understand the ground, you will use less muscle power, you have a little bit more of a forward lean and you will touch and lift, you wont spin log on the ground and you will never ever strike your heal when you are running barefoot on a hard surface or a soft surface, its just not natural.

    So this is one of the best ways to understand how to run, to begin with. With that in mind, a lot of shoes influence the way you strike the ground. We need to be aware of that and what good running form is. So in other words, what I am telling you is you need to understand how you land on the surface, whether you have shoes on or off. So having shoes off is the best way to understand that.

    What we find with a lot of people is, if they dont have a good running background, they will take a shoe off the shelf and just start running down the street. A lot of shoes are so cushioned that you feel like you can land with this superman impact, you can just stride out with a long stride, strike the earth and then just bound forward. Well, that does several things. When I do that, you get this more vertical oscillation or more body movement vertically, which you are impacting the ground, gravity is crushing you back down to the ground with each stride. With that too, you have a lot of breaking motion where you are stopping your movement force temporarily and then you roll through and push off with hard force to start that momentum of the next step again.

    So there is a lot of wasted energy, thus you use a lot of muscle power, if you are not trained to understand the light touch and the lift. So for me, all these years of analyzing people, what we try to do is go for a higher cadence. Higher cadence simply means more steps per minute. As opposed to this long stride and breaking, find your optimal stride by being more centered under your body mass with the landing and touching the ground more often. 185-190 steps per minute works really well, that keeps a short cadence, but you have to quickly touch and get off the ground. So thus you have less impact and you have lees time for rotational forces that come from poor biomechanics of the foot and we will talk about that in a moment.

    Well, we found a very effective way for less injury is running the barefoot style with full wear on. So you want to land on the middle of the foot, you want to feel the foot slightly leveled forward and at that moment, instead of pushing off or pulling back with the toes and using excessive muscle power, which creates injuries like Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinitis, calf muscle strains and the excessive breaking and then pushing a lot of hamstring pain from over striding and then pushing off hard. If you use this light stride, high cadence, a slight lean and looking forward, that will draw you forward with gravity much easier than the breaking motion and the vertical oscillation and the impact that you get from over striding.

    So shorten the stride, quicken the cadence, touch and lift, these are the things that make you lighter on your feet, which reduce impact and rotational forces. Now we are going to talk about footwear and foot type and there you go.