The fundamental difference between running and ambulation is the existence of the air phase (of suspension). During this phase, both feet are detached from the ground. For a short period of time, our body is therefore “in a air phase”, suspended.
While running, the support of the foot to the ground does not occur following the sequence heel-forefoot, as in ambulation. We can say, in fact, that running is like a sequence of jumps, and this is particularly true from the biomechanical point of view. Since the foot does not have the time to accomplish every single phase, it favours thrust. During this phase, the foot is supine, it stiffens, accentuate its longitudinal arch and the heel bone goes in an inverted position. Therefore the foot acts as a hard lever in order to avoid the transmission of traumatic shocks to the lower limbs.

Running phases

So, during the support phase is the forefoot and more precisely, the external metatarsal part, which comes into contact with the ground in order to absorb the impact and to take advantage simultaneously of the extensor muscles for the propellant phase of thrust.
If the foot is more active and stimulated in the swing/thrust phase during the running activity, the exact opposite will occur to the lower limb musculature. In fact, it is in the support phase that the musculature carries out its maximum effort. The triceps surae (calf muscle) softens the impact, by completely using the reactive-elastic part of the foot.
The exact moment the foot is in support, it is found before the center of mass of the body. Another fundamental muscle, and one of the strongest ones in our body in terms of functioning, is the quadriceps femoris muscle which contributes to the lessening of the foot impact to the ground.
Of course, one cannot sum up briefly what does it happen to an elite athlete who is ready to run 100 m in less than 10 seconds, neither what happens to a “hero” who is ready to run a marathon in less than 3 hours.


The technologies to consider

Howewer, for a runner neophyte, it is fundamental to understand how much the materials: shoes, but also socks can prevent injuries nowadays, when running is approached.
The ideal shoe must be chosen wisely, according to the knowledge and understanding of the gesture which is going to be made.
Technology is an essential means in all of this, but one must take into account the fact that all the data made available by technology must be elaborated and interpreted by those who have the awareness and the knowledge of the technical gesture.
Once again, multidisciplinariety is the key element through which the medical specialist plays the role of coordinator between the trainer, the orthopedic technician, the physiotherapist and the podiatrist.