Thursday, December 2, 2010

Running For Science at Harvard University

Last Tuesday afternoon I volunteered as a test subject for a study in Dr. Daniel Leiberman's lab at Harvard University. Daniel Perl, one of Dr. Leiberman's students, ran me through my paces. As an added bonus, I had a chance to briefly meet Dr. Leiberman again.

This is the second time I've volunteered for a study there. Each time, I've enjoyed watching the scientific process unfold, as they attempt to study elements of running technique. I'm very happy to be a part of the research needed to understand running technique more completely, even if my part is just as a test subject.

For about half of the test, I had to run using my current forefoot landing technique. However, I also had to run heal striking for the other half. It was actually quite difficult for me to run with a heal strike, even though I ran that way for over 33 years. What this indicates to me, is that forefoot running has become "natural" for me. After all of the work I've done to improve my running technique, that realization really made my day, although it was a little frustrating for Daniel, who was trying to gather good data.

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