Harvard Running Study Says Land Softly To Reduce Injury



Harvard Medical School study—conducted with the National Running Center at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital—took a deep look at the relationship between injury and the pounding toll from repeated foot strikes.

A total of 249 female athletes were part of the study. The subjects ran over a force plate to provide the scientists info on their particular mechanics and stride.

"The takeaway is that a softer footfall appears to reduce the likelihood of injury," Irene Davis, Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation said.

"If you land louder, it's harder. It's work, but you can make your foot-strikes softer."

In the report published on Harvard's website, Davis made made the following comment about a runner who consistently evaded injuries: "She ran like an insect over water."

Davis' advice for both heel-strikers and forefoot runners?

Take out your earbuds and pay attention to the sound of your footsteps. Soft-landing steps are noticably quiter.

"If you land louder, it's harder," Davis said. "It's work, but you can make your foot-strikes softer."

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Founded in 2010 and named after the iconic volcanic rock fields found at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, LAVA Magazine is the world's premier triathlon magazine. Along with the magazine's stunning photography and design, every issue is full of the newest gear debuts and reviews, training advice from the world's best coaches, and in-depth athlete profiles. Go to Lavamagazine.com for up-to-the-minute training, racing and triathlon news, and follow them at @LavaMagazine.

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