Do you want to run faster? You need arches according to a new study featured in Runners World Magazine.

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Do you want to run faster?  You need arches according to a new study featured in Runners World Magazine.

Barefoot, non barefoot, orthotics, cushioned shoes; What is a runner to do for maximum comfort and better running times?

In my many years studying runners, a more open stride is more efficient along with symmetry when you run.   For some of us, foot orthotics, whether custom or off the shelf can markedly improve our stride length and symmetry by help to level our hips and better access our core when running.  We have done many in office videos that show impressive before and after changes to the gait cycle by using the arches, and many runners report their times are reduced.

Last December, I attended a seminar given by Russell Ebbets DC, someone who has worked with high end athletes in academic settings.  Behind me, in this small room was a heavy set man who I found out during our break owned the center where the seminar was given, and suggested while our videos looked nicer, you could not truly measure performance unless your treadmill had an expensive piece of machinery that measured the timing between steps.  Raw data trumps visual observation, however, in the case of this study, it may suggest why the foot orthotics in the opinion of the runners we treat improve their running times , form and their running efficiency.  Aside from spending $3000 on equipment like that gentleman uses, our phone videos are helpful and the runners can see their choppy running styles improved from having better arches courtesy of those inserts. One note; that older gentleman claimed he has worked with everyone from Rodger Federer to Usain Bolt said he invented the heart rate monitor when he was around 20 years of age (If you have seen his center, his claim is plausible, although the internet says otherwise here ).

Check out this article out on how foot orthotics and the arch it helps provider improves the spring in your step while helping you move more efficiently, thereby reducing the energy needed to run.  Translation; better running times.

How Your Arches Make You a Faster Runner
New research explores how energy is stored and released every time your foot strikes the ground.

By Kit Fox THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2016, 3:14 PM

Each time your foot strikes the ground on a run, your body claims something valuable that few species can””free energy from the arch in your foot.

A recent study published in Scientific Reports examined the role of the human arch while running. The authors wanted to see how energy is stored in the arch each time your foot hits the ground, and more specifically, how much is lost if you restrict the arch with orthotics. They discovered that blocking arch compression by even a small amount causes your energy

efficiency during a run to decrease by up to six percent.

They also note that the energy you get from your arch is “œfree.” Instead of requiring muscles to expand and contract for forward momentum, the arch uses the ground to compress like a spring, according to study co-author Jonas Rubenson. The tension and release of the tendons provide a mini-boost to propel you forward, kind of like a pogo stick.

Read more here