Heel Landing Ups Running Economy

Heel Landing Ups Running Economy Running economy is defined as the amount of oxygen you use to run a certain distance at an endurance (sub-maximal) pace. The less oxygen required, the better your running economy. Does your foot strike pattern factor into this equation? A study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests it might.

Researchers analyzed the strides of 20 experienced endurance competitors. Ten landed on their heels while the other half had a tendency to come down mid-foot. It turns out, heel landing provided a slight built-in advantage for greater running efficiency despite similar biomechanical characteristics between groups.

True Strength Moment: Although the advantage was very small and statistically insignificant, runners who land on their heel stay in contact with the ground longer than those who land mid-foot. This reduces flight time between strides. Scientists didn't offer a theory about runners who land on their toes.
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