Voici un courriel que j’ai reçu de la clinique du coureur sur la pose du talon. C’est effectivement un sujet chaud ces temps-ci et j’entends souvent des gens (des coureurs, débutants, confirmés ou même des entraîneurs) dire à peu près n’importe quoi sur ce sujet. Par exemples: «j’ai entendu dire qu’il faut courir sur la pointe du pied»…
Oui, et bien ça, tant qu’à moi, c’est courir après les blessures!
Alors, voici l’article, qu’en pensez-vous? Personnellement, je suis d’accord avec la majorité des points, particulièrement en ce qui concerne les racers qui ont un dénivelé de 4mm. Après avoir essayé des chaussures avec un dénivelé de 4mm et des chaussures avec un dénivelé de 0, je tendrais à penser que ça fait une bonne différence… Mais ce n’est que mon impression personnelle, donc aucune valeur scientifique…
Why a majority of runners, even among international elites, are heel strikers?
Phobia of heel striking is starting to reach several runners who, seeing themselves in action on pictures, are questioning their biomechanics effectiveness. And they are right to be concerned because some with heel strikes have negative consequences on their performance and the incidence of injuries. Here are some related explanations.
10 things to know about runners heel striking, answering the question « Why a majority of runners, even among international elites, are heel strikers? »
1. Pictures rarely reveal reality. Only rely on high definition cameras or a highly experienced eye. A picture taken just before the impact loading will show the foot in dorsiflexion (pointing upward) for a majority of runners.
2. 60% of high level athletes running road race (even international elites) are heel strikers… (Note that they all use « racers » running shoes with heel-toe vertical drop of 4-10mm … a technical aspect of the shoe that promotes heel striking!)… but 90% of track athletes are forefoot strikers.
3. The majority of these good level athletes, however, have what we call a »prorioceptive heel strike » (the foot flattens smoothly as soon as it hits the ground). We believe this way the foot grounds is no more harmful and no less effective than midfoot or forefoot striking because it doesn’t involve a strong braking phase or brutal impact force.
4. The further we go back in the race pack, the more heel striking we encounter and the more « proprioceptive » heel strike becomes important heel strike.
5. Over 80% of barefoot runners do not heel strike… and 20% of them have a « proprioceptive » heel strike.
6. The heel strike is not the only clue to verify. A heel strike may be acceptable if the shinbone is vertical, the knee bent and the impact loads just in front of the center of gravity. The biomechanical analysis must therefore be global. The 4 biomechanical clues which often combine and express the same problem are:
A. diminution in the verticality of the tibia shinbone
B. diminution of knee flexion during contact
C. ground contact far ahead of the center of gravity
D. the heel strikes the ground first
7. We do not know (scientifically) if local, national or international level athletes would improve biomechanics effectiveness in long term by making technical efforts to run better (correcting points A B C and D)… but the trend says so!
8. The majority of athletes have bad habits related on shoes that affect biomechanics. They mostly train (up to 80% of their training volume) with cushion shoes with big heel-toe differential, type of footwear which promotes less efficient biomechanics and heel strike. Their biomechanical learning is consequently different f rom their biomechanical performance which may explain why many of them retain these biomechanics when in competition.
9. I think if the athletes involved more barefoot training, ran 100% with their performance shoes and if their competition shoes were « heel-toe zero differential », we would see slightly different biomechanics and most likely improved performance for some … simply by improving their « running economy »!
10. I think if recreational runners invovled more barefoot training, ran 100% with performance shoes and if these « racer » shoes had « heel-toe zero differential », we would see much different biomechanics and improved performance for the vast majority… simply by improving their « running economy »!
Enjoy the analysis!