If you think running is like walking but faster, like a fast walk, welcome to the club.
I did not appreciate the different mechanics of running and walking until recently. Mixing the two not only confuses the runner but also could lead to running injuries.
Walking – “The walking body acts more like an inverted pendulum, swinging along step-by-step, literally vaulting over stiff legs with locked knees” (Dr. Phil Maffetone). The foot strike is from heel to toe. The walker provides all the energy in moving the body forward.
Running – The running body takes advantage of the impact energy from gravity and “elastic recoil” from calf muscle, Achilles tendon, and unlocked knee to spring the runner forward. The foot strike is mid- and forefoot. Much of the runner’s energy is “recycled.”
If the heel-toe foot strike is mistakenly applied to running, it will not only slow down the runner (because the heel strike) but also cause the runner to use more energy in the process. Additionally the added impact to the body will lead to potential injuries over time.
Do you think running is like a fast walk? Have you experienced any pains while running?