Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lieberman: "Foot Strike and Injury Rates in Endurance Runners"

It's finally out. (I used to wait for books and movies, now I wait for scientific studies on running form.  I think I've gone off the deep end of nerd-dom.)
"Conclusions: Competitive cross country runners on a college team incur high injury rates, but runners who habitually rearfoot strike have significantly higher rates of repetitive stress injury than those who mostly forefoot strike. This study does not test the causal bases for this general difference. One hypothesis, which requires further research, is that the absence of a marked impact peak in the ground reaction force during a forefoot strike compared to a rearfoot strike may contribute to lower rates of injuries in habitual forefoot strikers."
Professor Lieberman is careful with his language, as always.  But I'm going to continue fore-foot striking when running, because it's sure been safer in my experience...

Thanks to Sweat Science, who's got more in his post.