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Slow Motion Video of Elite Women at the 5th Avenue Mile Road Race

Steve Magness over at the Science of Running blog has a nice post up analyzing foot strike patterns of elite female runners from the recent 5th Avenue Mile race in New York City based on a high-speed video shot by Niell Elvin. He notes that 11 of the 15 women strike either on the midfoot or forefoot, and I went through the video myself and came to the exact same conclusion. So, at least in this sample of elite women running mid 4:00 miles, heel striking seems to be in the minority. Check out Steve’s post for inidividual analysis and more information:

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. Oh! Poetry in motion. Not only do they (for the most part) land on the forefoot…
    …but SOMEHOW they manage to reach those legs wa-a-a-ay out front, without overstriding. Exquisite!

    • I think this is probably just a function of the speed they’re going at. The lower leg sometimes seems to be ‘reaching out’ as if they’re overstriding, but it isn’t really. It’s just that they’re moving at speed and the lower leg, probably kept relaxed, has just swung a little forward because of the forces coming from the hip. By the time any weight starts to come down on the foot, the lower leg is pretty well perpendicular to the ground (and the landing is midfoot/forefoot). That’s how it strikes me, anwyay!

  2. not all land forefoot.

  3. the person in front landed on her left heel.
    and it seems like the person in the back lands on her heels but maybe not.

  4. Christopher_korn says:

    Uh-mazing. Looks like me, I can tell that these ladies have been reading my blog lately :-)

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