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foot contact while sprinting...

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:15 am
by jumperuk
I've been thinking about this for a while now and just figured i would ask a few people to see what they think.

i've noticed that, if you walk normally (heels to toes) at a steady pace and while keeping the same pace, raise up onto the balls of your feet (like when sprinting) and keep walking, you cover ground consiberably slower than you did when walking on heels and toes.

The reason for this might be obvious. Because there is more surface area of the foot hitting the ground , therefore more power can be exhurted etc..

well, if this is the case. WHY are we taugh to sprint on the balls of our feet and not the entire foot? ? ?

if anyone can help with this that would be great.

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:32 am
by VoK
When you sprint, you want your contact with the ground to be as brief as possible. You literally want to be gliding across the surface with as little time on the ground as possible. This is best achieved through running on the balls of your feet.

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:39 am
by Matt Z
Make's sense. Unfortunately for me, I've been slightly pigeon toed since birth. As a result, I can't run on my toes, only heel-toe which makes me a really poor sprinter (although I'm quite fast on a bicycle).

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:30 am
by Ryan A
You may also want to consider that the body is designed to do most of its movement walking but is capable of short bursts of speed. To maximize efficiency at both of these the body has two methods of movement, walking and sprinting. It is for this reason that a fast walk (power walking) burns more calories than jogging at the same speed. At some point the body is ready to be efficient by changing the way your body moves and this explains why you move up onto your toes.

You should also notice a key difference when you sprint, you have an air phase where nothing is touching the ground as you drive off the ground.


Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:51 pm
by jumperuk
ok thanks for all the responses...

in response to the contact time messege...

on average the contact time for a sprinter is .90 of a second where as a long jump take off (which is heel to toe) is 1.10 second.

Would the extra power gained from using heel toe counter the slight time lost on each contact?

and with training and specific practice of this technique would it not be possible to lower this contact even more ?

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:32 am
by DeadFrog
I believe the idea is that running on your toes allows your calves to "spring" into action. plus it effectively makes you taller which should lengthen your stride if done correctly.