31 May, 2018

Footwork: Running and The Heel (part 1)

Foot. Shoe. Ground.

One of the defining characteristics of track and field is the extent to which the athletes stay in close contact with the ground. Even in the field events, the ability to jump or throw effectively relies first and foremost on your ability to use the ground to your advantage.

As a result, the way that an athlete uses their feet has an overwhelming impact on how well they can apply their whole body to the demands of any particular event. And those footwork patterns vary by event, and often, even by athlete within a single particular event.

Now, I'm definitely not an actual biomechanist, but after 2 decades of track and field, I've noticed at least a few patterns. So when I went down to L.A. to cover the Mt. SAC Relays, I tried to spend some time capturing how the footwork in each event conveys a sense of each event's specific characteristics.