Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ROTD 4/27/2010--use the Force

Today, dear reader, I ran a route familiar to me (full details here). This route is almost exactly 10 miles long:

I continue in my quest for a relaxing route to run, and am nearly there. However, today is not the day for exploration with its inherent uncertainties about duration of run or time of arrival--as I had to go to work today. Bleh.

There are two forces in play when running. The first is gravity, which of course pulls your center of gravity straight downwards. The second is the force of the road pushing up against you.

The Force of gravity is of course what we all have to overcome to stand upright. However, this force can also be used to propel you. If you hold an erect posture, and engage in a slight forward lean, then the difference between your center of gravity and the site of foot impact translates into a forward propulsion--that is, you are falling. Properly harnessed, this results in free forward motion, with no muscular energy expended at all.

The force of the road is rarely helpful, and in fact can be quite damaging. This is the force that produces injuries if your technique is not sufficient to learn how to cooperate with the force of the road coming at you. This is primarily done by ensuring that the foot lands at least underneath, and preferably behind, your center of gravity.

Proper running form requires that your feet strike the ground behind you. This is more difficult than it sounds, as your body rightfully interprets this as a fall and bends you in such a way as to avoid it. I was able to do this today as well, and I can tell an enormous difference today vs yesterday.

Happy Running!

1 comment:

Sarahbelle said...

It tires me out just reading about it. LOVE the graphics!!!