Monday, August 25, 2008

Form and Style

It is true, there is no one style in which to run. Distance runners know that, while there may be some more efficient ways to transfer your body's energy into a forward motion, at the end of many races, primal/survival/fetal position trumps perfect form. Sometimes its just about getting your crippling body to the end.

Gina Kolata takes a brief look at the various forms of running, particularly the strike locations of runner's feet. Midfoot strike is most efficient, but really there is no one way to run. As she describes:

But for every rule there are great runners who exemplify it and great runners who are exceptions to it.

Emil Zatopek, a Czech distance runner who won the 5,000, the 10,000 meters and the marathon at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, ran with his head thrusting upward and his arms flailing. He has been described as running like a man with his head in a noose.

Personally, I run like my feet or on fire, or like I am Kenyan, or have no heels. I run mostly on my toes, a habit I attribute to many years of agility practice in basketball and volleyball. It looks a little funny, but I enjoy it.


No comments: