Friday, November 12, 2010

The Science of Injury Free Running

I am writing this post to share with everyone what injury free running is all about, in my point of view. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Since I have already shared with all the UPNM Multisport Team, and they find it effective and logic, so I've decided to put this on my blog.

In my humble opinion, I agree with coaches who emphasize on:

1. Runner shouldn't heel strike (cause of injury)
2. Lean forward for the free gravitational pull (Energy Conservation)
3. Run efficiently (Proper Posture)

the 3rd guy was me, and followed by the other UPNM Duathletes at the back

this picture was taken during Malakoff 12km Run.

i don't mean to criticize anybody, this is just for analysis purposes. this runner's heel is the very first part of his foot to strike the ground. By not landing using the ball of his foot (mid foot), his knee has got to absorb all the impact. this can be explained by the Newton's 3rd Law- ACTION REACTION. So, this explains why runners tend to injure their knees. Running doesn't cause knee pain, but the way u run will cause u knee pain.

the logic behind leaning forward when u run.
picture snapped by Kak Aini during my 2nd Ironman=) thanks Kak=)

see the formula behind me?

θ = angle between the vertical green line and the leaning green line

y = the vertical force react to the ground (your weight)

x = the Horizontal Force (Forward push u gained from leaning forward)

Lets do some simple maths:

Step 1 : measure the leaning angle, θ

Step 2 : the vertical force Y is equal to yr (WEIGHT x GRAVITY)

example : weight = 57kg , gravity = 9.81 , Y = ( 57 x 9.81 )

Step 3 : key in the data into calculator, X = Y / tan θ


1. X is equal to the FREE GRAVITATIONAL PULL u get when u lean forward

2. We notice that the more we lean, the higher horizontal force u will get

I am writing this to share with u how the long distance runner complete ultra distance races. we are impressed because they finished it so easily. By leaning forward, the muscles need not to work so hard for the forward push. Don't be too greedy leaning too steep forward till u go off balance!

with the help of gravity, your energy can be conserved for chit chatting after the race =p good posture is judged by not heel striking. If the mid foot or fore foot make the ground contact FIRST, the calf muscles and Hamstring will happily share the burden work as a natural spring to absorb ground impact.

if u don't lean, the angle will be zero. So, u have to work hard for the forward push.


By practicing this, I hope more people will run more efficiently.

I'm now recovering from appendicitis, will be back for training some time soon. Every evening i spend time watching cadets running around UPNM with poor posture, and they struggle hard to finish a 7km run, and complain knee pain. I feel sorry for them, running is such a wonderful sport, we should always enjoy INJURY FREE running.

*this article is not meant for sprinters. even if u lean 45 degree forward with maximum gravitational pull will not make u Usain Bolt. it is meant for INJURY FREE.


Capura Aniki said...

Agreed with you 100%.Run easily with proper technique

poh meng said...

It is nice of you to share the info. The landing of the foot comes naturally so it is difficult to change the giat.

OP Chan Jun Shen said...

Poh Meng,

my point of view,
worn out running shoes and poor posture are the reasons why we develop bad running habit.
there are drills to correct our foot strike, and it is not "natural" to run wrongly.

stupeed demon said...

I agree too, you can also add 1 more tip. More forward motion instead of vertical motion, which means don't bounce up and down excessively when running.


seweng said...

good post!glad i found it! :D