Slow Motion Running Foot Strike Video from the CPC Loop Den Haag Half Marathon in the Netherlands

Jacky Ledeboer, a phsyiotherapist from the Netherlands, recently alerted me to a video she shot at the CPC Loop Den Hague half marathon in the Netherlands. The video, posted on her YouTube channel, is shot at 210 frames per second and provides a great sample of the variation in foot strike patterns seen among fast recreational-level runners in a road race.

One thing to notice in the video is that although most of the runners are heel striking, there is quite a bit of variation in the position of the foot and leg upon initial contact within this category. It’s for this reason that I personally don’t think all heel striking should be lumped together as an evil that runners need to banish from their form (for more on my thoughts about this, read my “Facts on Foot Strike” article in the June 2012 issue of Running Times).

Anyway, here’s the video – enjoy!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Interesting to compare how the different types of foot strike are distributed among runners wearing different shoes. If I counted correctly, there are 8 runners wearing either the Kinvara or Mirage, and 4 of them are heel strikers, 1 midfoot striker and 3 forefoot strikers. (On the other hand, two Type A5 users are heel strikers.) Also many Lunaracer (and other lightweight Nike shoe, Zoom Streak perhaps) wearers seem to be forefoot strikers. With Adidas Adizero shoes, some runners do forefoot and midfoot strike, but many also have a pronounced heelstrike.

    The heaviest and most overstriding heel strikes can be seen with Mizuno and Asics wearers. I don’t notice anyone forefoot strike with Asics shoes. But isn’t that what Asics aims at since they believe in heel striking. :)

    • Pete Larson says:

      Thanks for the quick analysis – I might have to go back and tally up the numbers for each now and do another post!
      Sent from my iPad

  2. Very interesting. If you look carefully, you can tell by the way the runner is pushing off the ground if he will be a hill striker or not. Forefoot striker do not skip the push phase (see photo) while hill strikers do. I wrote about it in my blog (http://www.leplaisirdecourir.blogspot...). Sorry it is in French ;)

    • Pete Larson says:

      Interesting correlation, never thought to look at that. Makes sense that if you do it get good hip extension on the back side you have to reach out on the front and overstride to compensate and maintain adequate stride length.
      Sent from my iPad

  3. Do some of the runners really heel-strike in the sub 1:30 group? Doesn’t the big heel just have contact with the ground? I can imagine if you x-rayed their foot strike, that you would see the heel being just off the ground, contacting it only thanks to the heel. The latter not because they can but because of the additional material. I am not sure I am getting my point across right …

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