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Why is running economy important?

To be able to run fast you need to have what is called a good running economy. This is defined as being as how much energy is needed to run at a certain velocity when moving forward. Any energy that is wasted on unnecessary actions or movements is a poor running economy. Some of these could be things like an awkward or excessive arm swing or a poor running technique. If those problems with the way a runner runs can be improved, then more energy will be available for running faster and more economically. This is such an important topic for those interested in the topic of running science that and episode of the livestream, PodChatLive was devoted to the topic of running economy. PodChatLive is a weekly continuing education livestream for podiatrists that goes live on Facebook and is later added to YouTube and the audio version is made available as a podcast. It is hosted by Ian Griffths from the United Kingdom and Craig Payne from Australia.

In the episode on running economy they had on as a guest to discuss running economy, Dr Izzy Moore from the Cardiff Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom. In the episode they discussed how the body self-optimises itself for running. The issues of whether we should change the way we run for performance gains and if those changes are worth it. There was also the issue of what effects on performance may be if we are changing running technique in the context of injury. They also talked about running footwear and the affect that that might have on running economy. Even the issue of the barefoot running fad was discussed. Izzy Moore is a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Medicine, specialising in lower limb biomechanics at Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales, United Kingdom. Her research interests are in how and why we move the way we do. Her main research currently focuses on running gait retraining for performance and injury prevention. She also advising several organizations on injury prevention and management strategies.