Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Studying My Gait

The video below captures Ryan Hall (in his nyort-nyorts, hehe) in super slow-mo when he ran the 2010 Boston Marathon. It's amazing how elite runners like him could come up with such a perfect running gait/stride. When you think that he'll be heel-striking, at the last second he strikes the ground midfoot first, and cycles his foot back, way way up to complete the gait cycle. His lean is perfect as well, a straight line from the ankles to his head throughout.

Well I'll never run like that. But maybe, with the proper training, yes. For now, I'll be contented with watching this video I recorded one morning last week. With my trusty digicam and tripod on the other side of the street, I proceeded with recording my running gait using my new Newtons. A few clicks here and there with Windows Movie Maker, I am pleased to present, my current running gait:

A far cry from Ryan Hall's, right?

I have to admit, watching myself run has been mind-opening. All this time I thought I was running "by the book," but the video tells otherwise. It has helped me create my "need to improve" list. Based on what I've been reading and watching all over the Internet, the following are my observations:

- The Newtons had helped me run midfoot-strike, although my feet are still landing slightly before my hip (must be under according to Chi running).

- I am not lifting my leg up high enough to complete the whole gait cycle

- My arms are swinging too close to my body's midline. I've a really bad arm swing.

- Need to work on that lean (especially downhill)

- I need to loose weight! Camera added not 10, but probably 20lbs! Hahaha...

I encourage you guys to take a video of yourself running as well. Just don't do it with too many people around or you might get confused as an actor/actress filming the latest commercial. Hehehe...


  1. Wow man, very cool. Yes, Ryan Hall is an animal. So, how are those Newtons working out for you? Have you improved much since taking the video? Thanks for sharing this, as I am focusing more on my form. Keep Running!

  2. well I'm giving myself a month or two from now before I video myself running again. I hope to see improvements by that time. The Newtons are actually great, coupled with reminding myself constantly of Chi running techniques. I'll try to post my full review of the Newtons after I get more mileage on it. thanks Kenley!

  3. Hi Roelle, nice post! I have been thinking about taking videos of myself running too, but I don't have a high speed camera like yours. I always thought elite runners heel-strike due to their photos and in most videos, but your post with a high speed camera does prove them to be forefoot/midfoot strikers.

    I also try to be midfoot striker, I believe this is the best technique for long distance runners, but most pictures also show me as heel-striker. Then I was confused because the wear of my shoes are only at the forefoot, and almost no wear at the heel. I guess your video finally explains it.

  4. @nathaniel, to clarify, that slowmo video of Ryan Hall was not taken by me. I just got it from YouTube. For my running gait video, I just used the video-option of my point-and-shoot digicam (just like any ordinary digicam out there equipped for recording videos). I did the slowmo on my laptop using Windows Movie Maker. :)

    Good luck on your goal to be a midfoot striker. I hope to achieve the same too!

    Thanks Nathaniel!

  5. Hi Roelle,

    I see, you only used a digicam. Thanks for the tip! I have no digicam, only a cellphone camera, and its video sucks. :-) I'll just try to borrow from someone else. Last year I've tried switching to midfoot striking, and it seems to relieve my "Runner's Knee" problems. However, if I strike too far in front at the forefoot, my calves seem to get tired easily. So midfoot, I think, is the sweet spot :-)