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"Runner" redirects here. For other uses, see Runner (disambiguation).

This article is about the type of locomotion in humans. For running in horses, see Horse gait. For locomotion in dogs, see Gait (dog). For general locomotion, see Gait. For other uses, see Running (disambiguation).

Eadweard Muybridge photo sequence

People running at the 2007 Brussels 20K

Running is a means of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. It is simply defined in athletics terms as a gait in which at regular points during the running cycle both feet are off the ground. This is in contrast to walking, where one foot is always in contact with the ground, the legs are kept mostly straight and the center of gravity vaults over the legs in an inverted pendulum fashion.[1] A characteristic feature of a running body from the viewpoint of spring-mass mechanics, is that changes in kinetic and potential energy within a stride occur simultaneously, with energy storage accomplished by springy tendons and passive muscle elasticity.[2] The term running can refer to any of a variety of speeds ranging from jogging to sprinting.

The ancestors of mankind developed the ability to run for long distances about four and a half million years ago[citation needed], probably in order to hunt animals. Competitive running grew out of religious festivals in various areas. Records of competitive racing date back to the Tailteann Games in Ireland in 1829 BCE, while the first recorded Olympic Games took place in 776 BCE.

Contents [hide]

1 History

2 Motion

2.1 Lower body motion

2.1.1 Support

2.1.2 Drive

2.1.3 Recovery

2.2 Upper body motion

3 Elements of good running technique

3.1 Upright posture and a slight forward lean

3.2 Stride rate and types

4 Running injuries

5 Benefits of running

6 Running events

6.1 Limits of speed

6.2 Running speed over increasing distance

6.3 Events by type

6.4 Events by distance

7 See also

8 References

9 External links

History

It is thought that human running evolved at least four and a half million years ago out of the ability of the ape-like Australopithecus, an early ancestor of humans, to walk upright on two legs.[3] The scientists, Dennis Bramble and Daniel Lieberman, have put forward a theory that early man developed as an endurance runner in order to hunt animals, and that human features such as the nuchal ligament, abundant sweat glands, the Achilles tendons, big knee joints and muscular glutei maximi, were a response to that running development.[4]

Competitive running grew out of religious festivals in various areas such as Greece, Egypt, Asia, and the Rift Valley in Africa. The Tailteann Games, an Irish sporting festival in honour of the goddess Tailtiu, dates back to 1829 BCE, and is one of the earliest records of competitive running.[5] The origins of the Olympics are shrouded in myth, though the first recorded game took place in 776 BCE.[6]

Motion

Humans leap from one leg to the other while running. Each leap raises the center of gravity during take-off and lowers it on landing as the knee bends to absorb the shock. At mid arc, both feet are momentarily off the ground. This continual rise and fall of bodyweight expends energy opposing gravity and absorbing shock during take-off and landing. Running on a track requires more energy than walking to cover the same distance due to air resistance at higher speeds. As reported by Hall et al. males on a track running at a pace of 6.3

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