"Drive your knees forward"

Well! I've been running since January and have comfortably been doing 5km and a few longer 10km. Had my first 5km race last week and got a pb of 37 minutes. However I bought a copy of Runner's World magazine a few weeks back and hadn't got round to reading it until the other night. In it was a simple tip that said run with driving your knees forward. So, I tried this on my run yesterday. I was very conscious about it as I it felt very different to however I was running before. I could feel a change in my pace and more of a push from behind, with my legs almost coming up further behind. Extending my knees forward, not up if that makes sense? I could not believe it when I finished and just doing this simple change I knocked five whole minutes off my run!!! I can't work out entirel what I was doing so wrong before, I guess I must have been overpacing somehow and slowing myself down. What a difference though, I was amazed! Such a simple but a huge time difference! It didn't feel any tougher doing it so I assume that is a good thing. I do feel my muscles slightly more today because I was using them slightly differently to before. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? Is there anything else I should be looking out for?


  • image maybe its just me and Phoebe from Friends who can't run properly then!!
  • It's easter so I'm guessing everyone else apart from you and me has a life.image

    Definitely of the opinion we all need to learn how to run properly. I used to get injured all the time until I did some reading about biomechanics and thought about how I run and hit the ground. It can make a huuuuge difference. Now I'm training for a marathon and running (I call it running, I suspect 'waddling' would be more accurate) 25k runs without an injury. Makes you wonder why they didn't tell us this stuff at school PE lessons doesn't it?

    I don't know if it's made me faster because I couldn't get even a 10k out without something in my leg exploding before. 



  • Hello! Thanks for your reply.

    I'm just amazed what a difference It made. Hopefully I'll be doing another run tomorrow so I will be able to make sure it wasn't a fluke! I guess one of the benefits of joining a running club is that form would be picked up on. I just don't think im good enough to join one yet!
  • hii dean wood 2

    im just about to start running and im determind not to go,out and rip somthing before i even get started...!!!

    just read your thread to looknohooves, and woundered where you found your research about biomechanics?

     thanks lee.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Basic bio-mechanics.

    Before you were 'leading' with your feet and thus over striding. That sort of results in every time you touch the ground in putting on the brakes.

    The difference now is that the impact point is closer to your centre of gravity so less braking effect.

    One reason why some runners are so fast is no matter how badly they run, their centre of gravity is behind them.

  • thanks RicF

    ive just been looking on youtube.

    wow there is alot take in bit differnt to running with a rugby ball.

    it just looks as though you are racing ie, running flat out with a short stride.

    have to give it go over next few weeks on tredmill i think.

  • topcatracer: I'm a physicist so I have access to a bunch of journals and I spent (wasted?) frigging ages going through a mass of papers on biomechanics, impact forces and all sorts of crap. I'll go back in my archive and dig some out if you are interested. There are a couple of decent PhD theses around as well which should be free to the public. The one bit of advice I'd give you is start slowly. I came from a rugby background too. Its very very different.

  • P.S. I'd be cautious about the treadmill thing. There have been a few studies that I have seen (there may be loads but my review was far from exhaustive) that seem to show that running on a treadmill encourages a different biomechanical movement to just running analogous to foot striking well in front of the center of gravity. This would slow you down if you were running outdoors in the way RicF talked about. Personally, I avoided the treadmill and ran outside. I still don't feel at all comfortable on a treadmill as it does feel like it wants me to do something different to the way I normally run although I admit this is just anecdotal.

  • I also can't run on a treadmill well, on the road it is easy to land with the foot under my body, but on the treadmill as I don't feel I can lean slightly forward, like when I'm outside, I end up striking the ground in front of my body slightly.

  • +1 to the "treadmills are a horror show" posts. I just can't stand running on a treadmill since I finally ventured out of doors. That said, when everything is covered in snow and ice they can start to look attractive.

  • thanks guys...

    im at the monment mapping routes on my bike, long,short, ect...

    im going for my gait analysis next week all been well, so i hope to be out on the road in the next week or so..

    there is so much to take in looking at all the videos on youtube. my big worry is shin splints...!!

    but i wont no till i get out there.

    ill let you no how i get on guys..

    thanks again guys..



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