Running right

Discussion in 'General Royal Marines Joining Chit Chat' started by Sausage, Jun 18, 2017 at 11:27 PM.

  1. Sausage

    Sausage New Member

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    when I was at school I took part in the cross country club and the teacher taking it was a ex triathlete who picked up that I was heel striking and told me to fore foot strike and have done so since..

    I found it harsh on my ankles at first but felt my calf muscles get massive

    Yesterday I was reading a book by Sean lerwill ex pti who said marines are taught to heel strike when running

    Can anyone elaborate on why they are taught specifically to do this and if fore foot striking poses any kinda problems?
     
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  2. A350-800

    A350-800 Member

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    The forefoot/heelstrike debate is quite confusing. I think gait advice should really be tailored to the individual in question and the distances they are running. An 800m runner competing in spikes may benefit perhaps more from Focusing on forefoot running, whilst those in heavier boots travelling slower but over much longer distances may heel strike by default. I found I used to do shorter quicker stuff in lighter shoes on midfoot/forefoot and longer stuff in heavier shoes where I would heel strike, but everyone is different- some people run everywhere in those vibram things, which is something I could never do without years of getting used to it.Some people run much more efficiently in ways which may seem odd, and correcting it or deliberately forcing an unwanted movement pattern in a short space of time without much adaption can cause unwanted issues. As is being discussed in the current ITBS thread, people have different solutions and make gait changers to deal with specific injuries. This is why I am particularly wary when one coach gives strict advice on how someone should move based on their own experience or one someone they coached without really carefully considering the individual. Our bodies each have their own subtle ways of moving. There is that really famous marathon runner who pronates hugely, which to everyone looks terrible (I have forgotten his name haha :) ) but he is insanely quick. Deliberately changing running gait should only really be considered if one is suffering from an injury or is seeking to improve efficiency.

    Gait retraining can yield many benefits of it is carefully applied to an individuals specific needs, and if several months are used to adapt to changes in ground reaction force, cadence and muscle/tendon/joint loading. Forefoot striking may be a challenge for those who need more probation to absorb impact, those with more cavus or high arched feet may find it easier to land on the forefoot, but I guess it varies enournously. Quite often, changes are made to quickly and the body doesn't adapt to the new loads as quick as the training loads demand. I got sore when I idiotically increased cadence much more dramatically than I should have in a short space of time; I sort of naively expected to run 180bpm from about 160bpm after about 2 weeks practice :/ things have settled a bit now and I feel a bit more fluid in form, but sometimes it is just best to leave our bodies and the way they move as they are if there are no issues. Tissues and structures in our musculoskeletal system can take weeks or months to adapt to new or different loads and forces. While it is possibly true that some particularly foot strokes are more efficient and perhaps reduce the risk of injuries long term, the relatively high change of injury when immediately making changes to gait could outweigh the benefits.

    I am no expert on this as I mentioned above but I understand if someone is speed marching or running in heavy boots over long distances that they may have to heel strike even if they otherwise forefoot or misfortune strike when running faster, but it does seem slightly odd and perhaps unwise for any trainer to tell a large group of people to collectively run in a specific way regardless of an individuals personal biomechanics. I didn't really know the difference between the different foot strikes until recently, and it took a while for me to grasp because I was slow to get my head round it. Recruits which are probably very tired and otherwise have a lot of other training demands; they probably won't have the time to really focus on making quite significant gait changes and I am surprised to hear this is taught. It s probably good advice to heel strike when speed marching/slow jogging (it's sort of inevitable/natural with walking) but to be honest unless there is a specific gait issue with someone causing pain or significantly restricting performance, it is best to leave significant gait alterations alone.

    Sorry for the waffly post, I had to research this recently for this sports science project so for once I can actually answer a question on here haha

    Please can I ask of the training shoes given in training are neutral; why is it that you cannot bring your own, Thanks :)
     
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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017 at 12:10 AM
  3. A350-800

    A350-800 Member

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    One more thing which may help is not to worry neccescarily about how your foot lands (heel, forefoot, midoot) but where abouts under your centre of mass it lands. If your leg is too far out in front and your knee extended when your foot hits the ground, regardless of how your foot impacts, there may be greater forces through lower leg joints. I found it helped me to land under my centre of gravity, with a slight forward lean and with my foot landing just behind/underneath my hips and running. It's important to make any changes slowly and just to find what works for you :)
     
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