Biomechanics - High Peaks Elite Distance Camp

Running Biomechanics
High Peaks Elite Distance Camp
Correct Running Stride
 90-93 steps per minute (one foot)
 Foot landing under center of mass
 Landing on middle to forefoot of shoe
Incorrect Running Stride
 Less than 90 steps per minute (one foot)
 Negative Results:
 Over-striding, too much time airborne, wasted energy
fighting gravity, harder pounding of joints, greater chance
of injury
 Landing on heal of foot (“breaking” forward movement…
wasted energy!)
 Not landing over center of mass, pushing mass in a
negative/backwards direction… wasted energy!
Running Mechanics
Biomechanics: A study of motion
Purpose of studying biomechanics:
 Distance running is a natural activity, so many coaches
and athletes give little or no thought to technique
 From our evolution (crawling- walking- running) rarely
has anyone been instructed on how to run properly
 There is a right way to run, yet we often abide by the
philosophy “if it works don’t fix it.”
 Running styles are highly individualized, but subtle
mechanical changes can make a difference in a race or
in preventing injury
“Lingo” of Running Mechanics
Specificity in Training:
A focus and direction where practices prepare for
maximum racing performance (ex. Workouts must include
racing speeds)
Maximum benefit from energy expenditure (ex. All out
sprint, trying to minimize the elapsed time)
Lingo continued
Maximizing conservation of energy expenditure (ex.
Running 5:00 mile with minimum effort). In other words,
Linear Motion: Motion in a straight line
Speed (velocity) variables:
A distance traveled in a specific amount of time (stride
length x stride frequency)
Lingo Continued
Center of Gravity:
Where an object’s mass is considered to be concentrated
A positive rate of change in velocity or speed
Laws of Motion:
1) Inertia (body at rest stays at rest)
2) Momentum (change in direction same as force)
3) Action Reaction (every action has equal reaction)
Distance Running Style
“Run Tall”
Eyes and head
Shoulders “relaxed”
Arm position and motion- “natural” carriage
Hips alignment- straight ahead
Distance Running Style
Knee strike and stride angle
Foreleg swing/forward swing
Stride length- level head
Foot strike: heel striker, forefoot striker
Back swing, toe off, extension phase
Variables that Affect Running Style
***Work on mechanics when stressed
Proper Form
 Upper Body:
Run Tall or Proud: Head & eyes looking straight ahead
Head still; neck and head in a straight line
Chest and shoulders proud
Arm drive
Arms relaxed <90 degree angle moving forward and back
in synchronization with opposite leg
Tight tummy
Proper Form
 Lower Body
Hips tucked forward
Good knee drive
Mid to high heel recovery
Dorsi-Flexion in ankle
Mid to Forefoot landing under center of mass
Legs moving front to back, not crossing over midline
Poor Running Form
 Upper Body:
Hunched over, bent at the waist, leaning too far back
Head tipped back/forward/down, shoulder roll
Arms excessively crossing midline
No arm drive, arms locked <90 degree position
 Lower Body:
Butt sticking out, little/no heel recovery, overstriding
Landing on heel, not landing over center of mass
Feet crossing midline, over/under striding
Running Form Evaluation Checklist
Non-stressed Running Style:
Overall General Appearance
Relaxed, Tall, Upright, Efficient
Center of Gravity (Support Phase)
Foot Strike
Knee Position
Hip Posture
Torso Posture
Arm/Shoulder Carriage(shoulder, arms, elbow-wrist, hands)
Head and Neck Position
II) Stress Running Form Analysis

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