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Foot Strike (Read 1185 times)

db7


    What part of the foot should be make first contact with the ground? Running sprints I always ran on my "toes". Running distance I always thought your heel should hit first and then roll through your foot. Am I doing it wrong? I also try to push off with my toes as my foot rolls through. Let me know what everyone is doing. DB

    Tougher than most, dumber than the rest. "You can not count the miles until you feel them" TVZ

      My first recommendation would be to go with what seems natural, but it would be strange if your toe struck first. You are right to think of rolling through your foot. A drill I try occasionally on my runs is running as quietly as possible--seems to help efficiency. Also, you might check out this video. Halfway through there is slow motion footage of Ethiopians and Kenyans, and even at their pace, they are still striking in the midfoot--certainly not up on their toes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLg4j4gMzqA
      db7


        Hey Jeff I don't really mean my toes, more the front ball of my foot. Like when you have track spikes. I think I have been running all these months landing on my heels because I thought thats what I was suppose to do. Could it cause me problems (pain, injury)? Is it something I should stop doing? I'm not sure why I even started thinking about it. DB

        Tougher than most, dumber than the rest. "You can not count the miles until you feel them" TVZ

          Hey Jeff I don't really mean my toes, more the front ball of my foot. Like when you have track spikes. I think I have been running all these months landing on my heels because I thought thats what I was suppose to do. Could it cause me problems (pain, injury)? Is it something I should stop doing? I'm not sure why I even started thinking about it. DB
          Landing on your heels is not, in itself, a bad thing--for most runners it's very efficient to heel strike. But I don't think you should be actively trying to strike with your heel. If it feels more natural to strike on the forefoot, then go for it. I'm more of a mid-forefoot striker myself, but not on purpose; it's just the stride I've fallen into. I'm hesitant to say anything more without seeing you run, but maybe the good folks at your local running store would have some advice for you. Most specialty running stores will have an expert who can check out your stride, analyze it, and at least point you towards a good shoe if not give you some more clear advice about foot strike.
          Ed4


          Barefoot and happy

            Your body is actually not built to handle heel striking. Just try to do it while barefoot and you'll see what I mean. Running shoes allow you to get away with it, and it's how lots of people run. But a midfoot strike is healthier and more efficient. "What seems natural" can be misleading, when you're running with completely unnatural technology strapped to your feet. Wink
            Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.
              A drill I try occasionally on my runs is running as quietly as possible--seems to help efficiency.
              I've been doing this occasionally too. Not sure if it has helped my efficiency yet, but it sure is handy for "sneaking up" on people as I pass them. I give myself points based on how high they jump. Kidding about the points - but I have made a couple people jump.

              When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

              db7


                Alright guys, when you run your speed work, do you foot plant differently than when you run long distances? When I run sprints I run on the front ball of my feet. Thats not totally natural but I know thats the right way to sprint. DB

                Tougher than most, dumber than the rest. "You can not count the miles until you feel them" TVZ

                  Your body is actually not built to handle heel striking. Just try to do it while barefoot and you'll see what I mean. Running shoes allow you to get away with it, and it's how lots of people run. But a midfoot strike is healthier and more efficient. "What seems natural" can be misleading, when you're running with completely unnatural technology strapped to your feet. Wink
                  Well, there's heel striking and heel striking. Check out the video I posted above--from around 1:30-2:00 there's lots of good slow motion "foot"age. If "heel striking" means that your heel hits first, then these guys are heel striking at a pace faster than any of us will be doing our intervals. Like Ed4, I believe that most running shoes do have too much heel, and I do much of my running in racing flats or light weight trainers for this reason. But, I've run 1500 injury free miles this year letting my heel hit the ground first. My foot strike changes a bit I suppose with different paces, but I'm really only up on my toes if accelerating quickly to a pace faster than 15s per 100m. In my training, I am very rarely sprinting all out, as this is something I also rarely do in races... Bottom line--in my non-expert opinion--focus on running smoothly, quietly, relaxed, and efficiently and the foot strike will take care of itself. The foot strike is so interwoven with the rest of the running motion that changing it without changing the rest of your form may be counterproductive.
                    Stealth mode, as I like to call it.

                    Runners run.


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      I've been doing this occasionally too. Not sure if it has helped my efficiency yet, but it sure is handy for "sneaking up" on people as I pass them. I give myself points based on how high they jump. Kidding about the points - but I have made a couple people jump.
                      Ha, I do this too! I like to pretend I'm in stealth-mode! Big grin k

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                      Needs more cowbell!

                        Stealth mode, as I like to call it.
                        Heh, cross-posted the same thing...know what they say about great minds and all! Big grin k

                        I shoot pretty things! ~

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                          Some of the newer shoes are catering to heel strikers (I happen to be one). I got a pair of NB Zips recently and they kinda force you to NOT run on your heels. Feels odd at first but after a while you are running mid-sole first and not realize it. Folks used to be able to hear me running a mile away. Now I'm pretty quiet and my feet feel much better after longer runs.


                          Needs more cowbell!

                            Some of the newer shoes are catering to heel strikers (I happen to be one). I got a pair of NB Zips recently and they kinda force you to NOT run on your heels. Feels odd at first but after a while you are running mid-sole first and not realize it. Folks used to be able to hear me running a mile away. Now I'm pretty quiet and my feet feel much better after longer runs.
                            I wish they'd make these in stability models, though they are really heavy, so I'm not sure I'd buy a pair for that reason, alone. k

                            I shoot pretty things! ~

                            '14 Goals:

                            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                            Scout7


                            CPT Curmudgeon

                              Technically, the heel always hits the ground, regardless. And like Jeff said, heel striking first is not bad, the body handles it fine. In fact, when you walk, chances are your heel is hitting the ground first. I know that my foot strike changes based on my pace; the slower I am, the further back on my foot I hit. Overstriding is a different issue, and can be identified by your leg landing out in front of your torso. You will get a heel strike with this as well, but the impact will be greater.
                                Yeah. They are not made for over-pronators. I'm the exact opposite in that stability shoes do nothing but give me shin splints. I thought they would be heavy too but I gotta say I'm a believer in NB's claims about them. Surely a hard soled shoe would suck, but I was really wrong. I've run some of my best times in them. I sound like a little kid with my "New shoes make me run faster" claims but they really did make a difference in how I ran. My trail shoes are NBs and when I have to run on pavement I really notice the lack of rebound coming from the shoe. Now I would never take the Zips on a trail (hello broken ankle) but I wish NB could develop a trail version of their technology. It is the first cushioning system that is noticably different from scores of systems out there.
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