sports performance testing & research Institute
FOOT STRIKE analysis
Most overground distance runners rearfoot strike early, and the prevalence of this pattern increases with distance. Of those that do change foot strike pattern, the majority transition from non-rearfoot to rearfoot. The current literature provides inconclusive evidence of a competitive advantage being associated with long-distance runners who use a non-rearfoot strike pattern in favour of a rearfoot strike pattern.
Why would you do this test? Meta-analysis of prevalence data revealed that 79% of long-distance overground runners rearfoot strike early, with prevalence rising to 86% with increased distance. In total, 11% of runners changed foot strike pattern with increased distance and of those, the vast majority (84%) do so in one direction, being non-rearfoot strike to rearfoot strike. Analysis of the relationship between foot strike pattern and performance revealed that a performance benefit to non-rearfoot strike.
Who is this test recommended for? Foot strike analysis is recommended for all athletes regardless of sport or the age of the athlete.
How often should you repeat this test? Foot strike analysis testing is recommended every 3-6 months to identify any performance improvements or regression.
Which body parts are or can be tested? Foot strike analysis focuses on how the athletes foot contacts the ground.
What are the results of this test? The results will determine the athletes foot strike pattern.
What does this help to improve? Foot strike patterns in runners are generally grouped into three categories: rearfoot strike (RFS), midfoot strike (MFS) and forefoot strike (FFS). Classification of runners into one of these three categories can be achieved by observing the first point of contact between the landing foot with its running surface. The point of initial contact can be categorized to have occurred in one of three anatomical loci, which serve to describe the overall observed pattern. Broadly, an RFS pattern is said to occur when initial contact is made on the heel or rear one-third of the foot, MFS when the heel and ball of the foot contact nearly simultaneously, and FFS when first contact is made on the front half of the foot, after which heel contact follows