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Forefoot runners, what do your feet feel like when you run? (Read 208 times)

northernman


Fight The Future

    After 6 years of a running style where I just let my feet flop down on the ground however they feel like landing, I've decided now to consciously work on becoming a forefoot striker. (This, based on my recent PF problems, which I attribute to too much support in the shoes and weakened foot muscles). I'll be transitioning slowly, in hopes that I don't create new injuries. I wonder, though, what successful forefoot strikers focus on when you run. Do you specifically tense the gastric/soleus muscles to keep up on your metatarsals through the whole foot landing, or do you just land initially on the forefoot, and then let the rest of your sole push off the ground? Also, more pressure on the big toe side, vs even across the forefoot? I guess I could be overthinking this, but I would like to minimize future problems... Maybe I need to google youtube or something - any good lessons out there on how to do this?

      Do you specifically tense the gastric/soleus muscles to keep up on your metatarsals through the whole foot landing, or do you just land initially on the forefoot, and then let the rest of your sole push off the ground? Also, more pressure on the big toe side, vs even across the forefoot?

       

      What???

       

      I just try to run silently.

      Runners run.

        Well...I think when I run faster and by default am more on the forefoot, there is probably more pressure on the big toe.  I don't think about this consciously, it just happens.  Maybe some running drills will help you with your goal.  Things like high knees, strides, butt kicks and the like allow you to concentrate on form and economy of motion.  Here is where a coach could be useful.

        Running Goals ...

         

        "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great."  John D. Rockefeller

        jamezilla


        Follower of Forrest

          Go run barefoot on some pavement/concrete.  That's how I try to step.

           

          I think the outside of my forefoot hits first, I roll in towards the big toe, my heel comes to the ground...my achilles is loaded and fires, repeat.

          6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

           

          A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


           

          northernman


          Fight The Future

            Run quietly sounds like Born To Run. That was a great read! I don't think I make lots of noise with my feet, but it's hard to tell over the sound of me huffing and puffing (jk, jk)

            Rolling in from the outside sounds smart. I'll give it a try, thanks.

              I just run.

               

              My ankles aren't flexible enough to land anyplace except on forefoot when doing 10-30+% hills. Landing on forefoot on rooty trails allows you to touchdown between roots and spring back up. Landing on heels means you land then roll over the roots, which can be stressful if ankles don't want to dorsiflex that much.

               

              In some types of snow, I'll land more flat footed to provide more surface area and reduce possibility of sinking.

              "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


              Hip Hip Hooray

                Go run barefoot on some pavement/concrete.  That's how I try to step.

                 

                I think the outside of my forefoot hits first, I roll in towards the big toe, my heel comes to the ground...my achilles is loaded and fires, repeat.

                 

                Yes, this.    My outside hits first, then the foot collapses towards the big toe and the heel hits the ground - I actually just had a gait analysis done and you could see this progression pretty well.

                 

                Running in some grass or packed sand should get you the same "feel" if you are trying to figure it out - but are not wanting to run on pavement barefoot.

                 

                jamezilla


                Follower of Forrest

                  I agree with Oski that you can get the feel on grass or sand.  I still recommend a "solid" surface because it is easier to "feel" what your feet are doing.  You don't have to do much...maybe just a couple 100 yard runs.  If you are worried about it, walk down the path first and make sure there is no debris.  It won't hurt.

                   

                  Also, don't force this motion.  A little bit of the outside in foot roll is ok, but you certainly don't want to exagerate the motion.  It should happen naturally.

                  6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

                   

                  A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


                   


                  Hip Hip Hooray

                    Here's a good video, I think - scroll to the 50 second mark to see the slo-mo.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_NlID-m1dI  I don't consciously think about my stride, however.

                     

                    bjoiner


                      Do you specifically tense the gastric/soleus muscles to keep up on your metatarsals through the whole foot landing, or do you just land initially on the forefoot, and then let the rest of your sole push off the ground?

                       

                      Don't do this. This will destroy your calves.  I think you are over thinking this.  Just let your forefoot hit first and your heal should follow.

                      perryw


                        Run quietly sounds like Born To Run. That was a great read! I don't think I make lots of noise with my feet, but it's hard to tell over the sound of me huffing and puffing (jk, jk)

                        Rolling in from the outside sounds smart. I'll give it a try, thanks.

                         

                        I knew I was starting to get the hang of running quietly a couple weeks ago when I ran up behind a couple of kids walking down the sidewalk talking.  I seemed to spook them, not only because I'm so ugly Clown but one of them actually said she didn't hear me.

                          "Run quietly" is the best analogy, and the one I give all my kids on my team.  I moved up to forefoot Sr. yr. of HS, to emulate Sprinters ...because they were fast?!  Have been there ever since.  Incidentally, think of your stride as a "pawing" motion where you pull the road under you.  This will allow you to land with your foot under you, instead of out in front on your heel, causing a braking action.  Another thing that may help is to aim for that magic 180 strides per minute, goal. This makes your strider shorter, but, quicker and MUCH more efficient!   Good luck & I hope this helps!


                          Will run for scenery.

                            I don't think it's wrong to think about your stride or even to try making changes.  But it is important to be careful and not overdo it.  Sometimes people think "heel striking is bad" and then they try to keep their heel off the ground.  Ouch!  Wrong! Calf Destruction!  I think the best approach is to run "normally" and then try a teeny, tiny adjustment and see what works.  Give it time.

                             

                            I don't run barefoot, but I did try it for a bit and it was very helpful.  Also I think trail running is a good way to learn (and fun!).

                             

                            One drill that might help is to stand still, keep your back straight, and lean forwards bending only at the ankles.  When you are about to fall just let yourself run.  I've found that notion of leaning forward from your ankles (not your hips!)  to be super-helpful.  I think of my ankle angle as my speed control lever.

                             

                            Another drill (from Barefoot Ken-Bob, IIRC) is the catwalk.  As in, pretend you're a fashion model on the catwalk and work those hips for all they're worth.  Us guys tend to have no clue that hips are actually flexible.  I guess the thing this exercise taught me (besides where the darkest emptiest streets are) is that with each step you want your weight to arrive, to be totally settled and planted on the ground, before you shift into the next step. More relevant at lower speeds, but still helpful.

                            Stupid feet!

                            Stupid elbow!