Audience: Runners and therapistsPurpose: A reference to compare running technique
Limitations: Many of us assume that there is one right and better way to run. Deviations from that ideal are assumed to lead to injuries and decreased economy. This is still a debatable concept. Everything I write can be questioned so please do so.
Below is a video of Nicole Stevenson (www.nicolestevenson.com). Nicole is Canada's former number 1 in the Marathon with a personal best below 2:33. Nicole is also a running coach
I wanted to highlight some probably beneficial components of her running gait. Future posts will look a deviations from this gait and how they might relate to injury.
Key Points on her Form
- cadence changes as speed increases. When running less than a 5 min/km her cadence is less than 180 steps
- foot strike is midfoot with one odd exception. When running at higher speeds she tends to heel strike on the left. Interesting, Nicole has had some achilles problems on the left.
-the knee does not fully extend prior to impact, it lands bent and does not fully extend even when the foot comes off the ground to start the swing phase (i.e. at push off)
- there is not a significant increase in hip extension when moving from slow to fast speeds (ripping into the "psoas" with some sort of release technique may be questionable). While the thigh is further back this is mostly due to an increased trunk extension
- the hips stay relatively level (no dropping) during foot strike and the knees don't cave in
-the arms do very little in terms of driving forward. We should surely question the role of the arms in producing power. They do not do this. Nor do they significantly tension the thoracodorsal fascia and some how stimulate the opposite Glutes to fire. The glutes fire because we are driving our leg back to the ground. There is no evidence that the arms are required in this. One misquoted and abused paper by Mooney et al (2000) does not support this idea.