Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Forefoot vs. Mid-Foot

I'm spending some time reading studies about the differences between the forefoot and mid-foot landing. In many cases, this causes a lot of confusion because some folks use the terms together such as "forefoot/mid-foot," or "ball of foot," or something else.

One of the studies I read (I've attached the article) stated the following based on analyzing 20 runners (it's a Pose article but I removed the Pose only statements and looked at it in more of a non-bias fashion: It's a small subgroup but the findings support what I've found about myself having used both the forefoot and mid-foot landing.

1. Heel strikers had greater vertical impact forces than mid-foot or forefoot.
2. Less work done at the knee with forefoot running compared to heel striking and mid-foot running.
3. Great impact at the ankles with forefoot running compared to mid-foot and heel striking.
4. Forefoot running put more stress on the Achilles than mid-foot or heel striking.

It appears clear than heel striking is bad all around. However, the mid-foot vs. forefoot analysis is very interesting. Dr. Lieberman's left mid-foot out of most of his analysis and just said it could results in reduced impacts like forefoot running or could result in increased impacts like heel striking as it will depend on the placement of the forefoot area.

I can personally attest to the differences in impact on the Achilles comparing mid-foot and forefoot running. I think this is key topic area as it is irresponsible to talk about forefoot/mid-foot running without further analysis.


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