There’s an excellent article on running bio-mechanics by Steve Magness. Here’s an excerpt that caught my attention since I’m spending a lot of time working on my own bio-mechanics and trying to find my optimal stride. I think this says a lot because I suspect many runners lift the foot off the ground too quickly and/or leave the foot on the ground too long. With that right balance, the body is effortlessly launched forward using its natural springs and energy return.
“Once landing has occurred, it is important to allow the foot to load up. Often, the mistake is made in trying to get the foot off the ground as nquickly as possible, but remember that it is when the foot is on the ground when force is transferred into the ground. While having a short ground contact time is beneficial it should be a result of transferring force faster and not getting quick with the foot. Loading up the foot means allowing it to move through the cycle of initial contact to fully supporting the body. Since initial contact is on the outside of the foot, the support will move inwardly. With forefoot strikers, the heel has to settle back and touch the ground to allow for proper loading. Holding the heel off the ground and staying on the forefoot will not allow for the stretch-reflex on the Achilles-calf complex to occur.”
For the article in its entirety, link here: