YMCA Healthy Living Magazine, powered by n4 food and health Spring 2017 - Page 16

1 Put a stop to heel-striking Heel-striking is a common error in running technique, which is found in both novice and experienced runners alike. Heel-striking occurs when your heel is the initial contact point with the ground. This means the heel is in front of your hips at ground contact point, and the angle of your body is either upright or slightly backwards; ideally it should, in fact, be forwards. RECIPE TO RUN Strengthen your running performance with these helpful tips from nutrition and exercise expert, Amy Giannotti. Question: If you were to run 100m as fast as you can and then ‘put the breaks on’, what do you think you might do? You’d probably lean back and heel-strike. Therefore, heel-striking throughout your entire run is kind of like running with the breaks on. Heel- striking also contributes to over- striding, which results in a body position that put s greater pressure and loading through your spine, particularly your lower back. A great way to see if you are heel- striking is get someone to video you while you run, and then watch it back in slow motion. Ideally, you want to aim for a mid- to forefoot foot strike when running. This can be achieved by applying a greater forward lean. To do this, simply lean forwards from your ankle rather than bending over at the hip. Another cue is to think about your chest being in line with your foot contact while running (if you were watching from a side view). 2 Speed up your cadence Cadence refers to the rate in which your feet turn over while running. A slower cadence is often associated with over-striding and heel-striking. For middle 16 YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE SPRING 2017