This stroke optimization can be achieved:
- by shortening the time spent on the ground
- by maximizing the rebound effect
- by minimising the need for muscle push
In order to face this task in the best way, we must start from the study of the forces that intervene in the running cycle, understanding how they are generated and managed and then recover a sequence of movements that allows us to optimize the use of these forces to run as effectively as possible.
Running, a.k.a. the art of bouncing
The undeniable evolutionary success of our species is closely linked to the development of extremely efficient walking patterns. In the history of the Human Body, Lieberman explains how "Darwin was far-sighted when in 1871 he imagined that, among all the characteristics that make human beings different from other species, it was the bipedal gait - and not the big brains, language or use of tools - that were the first to divide the evolutionary line of man from that of other anthropomorphic apes" and again ...the advantage of the bipedal gait, the most surprising and perhaps even the most important one, is that walking on two legs may have helped the first ‘ hominis’ (correct wording of the most common but incorrect term "hominids") to conserve energy on the go.
The gait, from chimpanzee to man
Experiments have shown that chimpanzees walking on two or four legs for a certain distance consume four times the energy of a human being (Sockol, Raichlen e Pontzer, 2007). This extraordinary difference is because chimpanzees have shorter legs, swing from side to side and always walk with their knees and hips bent. The result is that they constantly consume a lot of energy to contract the muscles of the back, pelvis and thighs so that they don't fall on the floor.
Being able to use the same energy to go further away would have been a very beneficial adaptation, especially as the rainforest shrank and became more fragmented, making preferred food rarer and further away.
From walking to running
If low speed walking, based on the controlled fall of the centre of gravity, normally called walking, allows human beings to save energy, the real evolutionary and energetic masterpiece is running which is a series of jumps in succession. The great efficiency of this method of fast walking is that by the combination of a motor scheme that provides a flight phase, and then a subsequent landing, with a biomechanical system, consisting of the complex tendon muscle of the leg and foot, which allows to momentarily store the kinetic energy resulting from the landing, and then return it in the thrust phase of the next "jump".
In addition, you can identify the ideal cadence and learn how to maintain it even when you feel tired. Skillrun 7000 allows you to train at different cadences at a predetermined speed and thus maximize endurance, you can analyze the power of the right and left leg in sled and parachute modes.