Friday, 24 April 2009

Fly Feet Fly

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, April 24, 2009 with 4 comments
Lydiard, or Gilmore writing for Lydiard, wrote - " not land on the forepart of the feet".
Is there a "correct way" of your feet hitting the ground?
If you run very fast you will appear to "run on your toes". For the first thirty years I ran, I was "on my toes", wearing spikes on the track for distances up to 10k, wearing flats on the road in the marathon. After that, with injury and (quad) fatigue and a heavier bodyweight, I ran more "on my heels" and often had to wear a heel insert to protect the achilles.
I think the key to being able to run fast is having a quick turnover rate, and legs turn over faster if the foot is on the ground for the shortest possible time.

Here is what I believe.
The optimum foot landing is on the mid-sole or the ball of the foot, not the heels. This looks like running on the toes, but in fact the outside of the foot hits the ground first, then the heel touches down lightly and lifts off immediately, and the toes leave the ground last.

It all happens very quickly. The quick touch-down and pick-up of the heel is a spring action which propels you forward. It looks look running on the toes, but it isn't.

When I did all my training and racing "on my toes", my shoes would show severe wear on the outside rear of the heel. This proves to me that the heel touches down and lifts up with considerable force even though it never appears to do so to the naked eye.

Thursday Training
The first night at Dickson under lights - and very bright they were too, all the new lights were on - saw Amanda, Bronwyn, Caroline, Maria, Miranda, Nadine, Neil and Suzie getting up onto their toes to run 12 x 200 with a 100 jog, with me supervising. It was Nadine's first run with the speedygeese, and Suzie's first run at Dickson. As for me, I ran 12k in total, having arrived early to check out the track and to run a few extra kms. I have recovered from the marathon, in fact I am running better than I was before it, and will commence building up to some decent training over winter.

AMA medal tally 
Putting together track and marathon, for AMA (national) medals, here is the final speedygeese medal tally!
1. Roger Pilkington 1 gold 2 bronze
2. Ruth Baussmann 1 gold
3. Kathy Sims 2 silver 1 bronze
4. Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 1 silver 1 bronze
5. Kevin Chamberlain 2 bronze
6. Cathy Newman, Katie Forestier, and me 1 bronze each
Please let me know if there are any mistakes!

Ruth's gold medal performance under scrutiny. Better caption anyone?

Block in 4 May for our training group dinner. The Phnom Penh restaurant, a Cambodian restaurant in Belconnen, has been booked, a fabulous $35 banquet with special dishes has been arranged, and any special dietary needs can be catered for. This will be a great event, invitations are being sent out soon. Those who attended last year's dinner there loved the venue, the food, and the service. Not to be missed.

Marathon photo #2
Sue Archer W60 winner


  1. Can't resist...

    They are waiting for Ruth's deployment of her secret weapon against fellow athletes...

  2. "Smelli-vision will be more popular than 3-D movies"

  3. Two brilliant suggestions!

  4. Many people said Heather Turland wouldn't amount to much as a marathon runner because she ran on her toes. Didn't stop her!