Ask the Coach: Keeping Pace - Page 3
I had a knee replacement four years ago, and just began road racing 18 months ago including finishing one marathon. I recently discovered the wonderful world of trail running and am hooked. What is the best technique for stride and foot placement that will minimize damage to my knee while allowing me to conquer the ascents and descents of the trails? Mahalo nui loa.
—Tig Kehm, Honolulu, HI
“Landing with your foot under your hips is the optimal landing position, as anything forward of that creates greater force on the knee joint,” says Brian MacKenzie, author of Power Speed ENDURANCE: A Skill-Based Approach to Endurance Training. Recent research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that running barefoot may encourage the low-impact landing that MacKenzie refers to, thereby reducing patellofemoral joint stress. However, impact forces don’t simply disappear. With improved running form they may be relocated to, for example, ankles and feet—so it’s important to take a tempered approach to form overhauls and ease into them.
Find out more from coach Matt Hart on www.coachingendurance.com.