Is there a better running technique? Svein Otto Kanstad thinks so. (via New Scientist)
Runners may be doing it all wrong. A slightly different posture could let runners and walkers get a gravity-driven boost – and potentially break world records.
To most runners and coaches, running is a series of jumps, says Svein Otto Kanstad, a physicist and former competitive runner based in Volda, Norway. Gravity isn’t considered helpful, because its force is perpendicular to the direction a runner is moving. But this mindset neglects the concept of angular momentum, Kanstad says. Rather than thinking of running as a series of jumps – leaping off one foot and landing again on the other – runners should view their sport as a series of falls, aided by gravity, he says.
“We are falling forward, and our legs catch us,” he says. With each footfall a runner’s body actually rotates forward, pivoting on the foot in contact with the ground. “It is not a series of jumps, it is a series of rotations.”