Now is the time to teach running technique


Dr. Yessis was kind enough to submit the following thought-provoking entry for the elitetrack blog. He brings up some great points on technique and minimalist running shoes.

The last few years running technique has been receiving more attention. Not only havemore articles appeared in running magazines, as for example, the technique analysisof Lauren Fleshman in Running Times and in mainstream magazines such as the NewYorker, but also in major newspapers such as the New York Times.

Interest in running technique probably stems from the barefoot running boom and theincreased use of minimalist type shoes. With these shoes it is impossible to run with thetypical technique used by most long distance runners, i.e., having touchdown occur onthe heel. The reason for this is very simple; it hurts too much.

As a result runners are finding that they must modify their technique to land moremidfoot or ball-heel. How they do this however, often leaves much to be desired.Because running technique has been ignored for so many years, there is very littleinformation available on how an effective midfoot landing should take place.

Because of this most runners must learn to change their technique by trial and error ratherthan using what is already known effective means of executing the actions needed for aneffective and safe touchdown. One source for such information is the second edition ofExplosive Running.

Much detail is devoted to the touchdown in this book as well as exercises that canimprove the strength of the muscles involved and to learn the muscular feel for executingthe actions needed to bring about a safe and effective landing. The information issupported with sequence pictures taken from organic digital film.

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Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young


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