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    Interval Junkie --Nobby

      Hey everyone! I have a few questions I would like to ask you experienced runners out there.


      I don't really qualify, as I've only been running about a year.  But maybe I can assist from what I've learned here on the forum and in my other readings.


      1) Heel mashing is bad, but most runners actually heel-strike.  Many elite runners heel-strike.  The general advice is to do Strides on the grass to help with your form, rather than forcing a new form on your body.  Your body will find the most efficient form for you after many many miles -- just let it do its thing.  That being said, shifting your weight forward is probably a good idea.  As for your sprinting, it sounds like you are over-striding to increase speed rather than speeding up foot-turnover.  About a year ago I found myself in the exact same position.  Better over-all fitness and a steady regime of slow miles, coupled with 90% effort intervals, really sorted me out.  Basically, you're running too fast for your fitness and your form is going all to hell.


      2) Toe-socks might be an option.  Also, different shoes.  It sounds like a shoe problem.  The blister will need to heal before it is strong enough not to re-cause problems.  You also might try liquid-bandage.  It's basically super-glue.  Makes a hard shell around the skin and will keep the blister from breaking, at least.  May also help for abrasion.


      3) Sounds like you're over-doing it on the fore-foot strike.  Running on the balls of our feet, are we?  I can't see your log, so not sure how many miles you are running, but if you're committed to drastically changing your form, you need to start SMALL like a quarter mile for your first run, then go back to your old form.  Over the span of 2 months you should hit 2-3miles of the new form (6mpw).  Yeah, that slow.  Otherwise, you'll really strain the new muscle group you're working on.


      4) I prefer snug, not tight or loose.  Loose seems to cause blisters with the shoe shifting around.  Tight cuts off a little circulation sometimes.  But I imagine this is just preference.

      2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals


        The heel strike when you are fast running is probably worse than when you are running at more moderate paces. At a moderate pace you may be more or less rolling your foot, heel towards toe until push off and not "braking" too much. When you are doing fast running you probably are overextending the leg and crash landing. If it doesn't hurt you it hurts your running.


        I have had this problem of over-striding, which can actually make overall stride short,in middle distance races and track workouts previously.  Some points more experienced runners and coaches have made, and I haven't had lots of time to practice;  letting the trailing leg linger a little bit longer before push-off  and getting a little more of a lean at the ankles. I am sure you have seen the latter point mentioned in some running form articles or videos. This would keep your body landing over your foot which will be more parallel to the ground.  Also the,  hips would kind of be in a position like balloons are lifting them forward and up. That's what an old track coach told me once anyway. Easier said then done. I agree that fast running makes us take an efficient form, but that can still leave somethings to be desired in form....at least it has in me.


        Connoisseur of Cookies

          1.  There's been a lot of talk about midfoot/forefoot striking.  Ultimately, though, the proper way to run is whatever works best for you.  There is no one proper way that every single person out there should use.  The internet cannot tell you what way that is.  However, as has been mentioned, if you're dead set on transitioning to a mid-/fore-foot strike you need to start small and work up slowly.  Very slowly.


          2.  Could be shoes.  Could be socks.  Could be a combination of the two.  More info is needed before better advice can be offered.


          3.  One of the possibilities of your calf pain/tenderness is your transition to a mid-/fore-foot strike.  This is the result of working your muscles in a way that they're not used to working.


          4.  My shoes are tied snugly but not so much so that the circulation is cut off or my feet go numb.



          "C" is for cookie.  That's good enough for me.


            First, note I am by no means an experienced runner, but... I did have the exact questions you have about a year ago. I didn't even think about looking on a running forum so I just figured it out myself along the way.


            1. I think a lot of this has to do with what you have transitioned into. If you mostly run at a slower, comfortable pace then you are going to get used to running "properly" at that pace. But when you kick it into high gear your body will want to revert to what it knows to do at that speed. It just takes time. I always finish my runs hard and after wearing VFF's for a bit over a year I still have to focus on my foot placement when I'm running faster.


            2. I used to get tons and big, painful blisters when I would switch regularly between the treadmill and outside. Not sure what you do. I haven't gotten a blister in a while. I'm not sure if it's because I've only been running outside or if my feet have just adjusted. Try a pair of socks?


            3. My calves hurt a LOT too the first few months of using VFF's. I wasn't aware that you should work your way into running with these type of shoes... or the different type of foot placement, so I just jumped in full force. I'm probably lucky I didn't hurt myself more than really tight calves. All I can suggest is to stretch a lot, and know when it's time to take a break.


            4. Fit your running shoes to what's most comfortable for you. Play around with this is you need to. I have shoes with the cinch laces and I just pull on the string until I feel a bit of pressure.


            I love running in minimalist shoes and at this point I don't think I could go back to regular shoes, but to each his own. If this doesn't work for you, do what does. No point in moving with the crowd if it's not what your body likes. ... If you do like running with a forefoot strike go with it and listen to your body.


              Running on the balls of your feet (or having a mid-foot strike) , as others have pointed out, is not THE proper way to run.


              Often, these proclamations of THE right way to do something are the equivalent of the cool kids deciding what's "in" and what isn't. It's also about people selling books and making a name for themselves. In short, it's often more about fashion than science.


              As a beginner, you are most susceptible to these claims. That's perfectly natural. As you become a little more experienced, you'll begin to think more independently.


              BTW, when I learned how to run in the early 1980s, the dogma I was taught was heel-to-toe to prevent injury, i.e. heel striking. Now heel striking is supposed to be the villain. Go figure.

                I'm new to the midfoot striking approach myself, so take this with a grain of salt.  The first time I tried it, I had incredible pain in my calves that hobbled me for several days.  I figured out that I was running basically purely on my forefeet and the pain was resulting from excessive pushing off with my forefeet (in other words, my heels were not contacting the ground at all).  I read somewhere (I think in was in Dreyer's ChiRunning book) that it is fallacious to assume that the heel never touches the ground with a midfoot strike.  Rather. the entire foot contacts the ground underneath the body at the same time (the heel's contact feels light and incidental and never as if the heel is leading).  This modified approach has been working great for me.   I feel it is much easier on my leg/knee muscles than the heel striking gait I used to use.


                Drink up moho's!!

                  I have always said that as long as your feet hit the ground before your face then you are running properly.


                  If you ever look and watch closely how the elite field runs you will see a mix of heel and midfoot striking.  If you are heel striking and getting injured then figure out what is injuring you and fix it, it may not be the heel strike.  If it is then make the switch to a midfoot.  Also keep in mind that a midfoot strike is not a guarantee to running injury free.  Some have had to make the move to a heel strike to become injury free.


                    If you naturally run with a heel-strike, just go with it.  I just let my body figure all that footstrike stuff out.   I'm just taking advantage of all those years of evolution that's supposed to be ingrained in there somewhere.   I don't care how the job gets done as long as it gets done... you know?


                    I am a forefoot striker, btw, but I didn't realize it until I read about it on the internet.  I didn't even know it was a thing.




                      Connoisseur of Cookies

                        I'm still curious why you think a heel strike is bad.  Who told you this?  What resources did you use to reach this conclusion?



                        "C" is for cookie.  That's good enough for me.


                            1. I understand that when you are supposed to run, you are not supposed to run "heel-to-toe." Now I used to run like this, but two weeks ago, I looked up how to run properly, and ever since then, I have been running the proper way. BUT, when I am near my finishing point, I try to run as fast as I possibly can to it. And during that time of sprint, it seems as if I am running heel-to-toe ONLY when I am running fast or as fast as I possibly can. Is that normal? Because when I go at a good pace, I run properly.

                            I have NEVER heard of anybody who is trying to run at "regular" speed on his/her mid-foot yet SPRINT on heel-to-toe.  If you watch "Rocky" (the original), where he is running by the ship toward the end of "Gonna Fly Now", it is quite interesting because, well, you can at your first glance tell he is no runner.  Yet, when he is running slower at first, he is swinging his legs more like pendulums and you can see he's landing on his heel--naturally because he's swinging his leg like a stick and landing almost with his knees straight (well, technically, you really can't land with your knees locked straight).  Now as he picks up his speed, you can see his legs start to move more like a circle.  Now, if he's landing on his heel, you can't tell because his leg movement is circular.  This SHOULD happen naturally--even a non-runner like Sly would do it naturally when he picks up his speed.  You push off harder and this would allow the knee of the lead leg to come up much higher (almost parallel to the ground) and this would allow you to do the paw-back a lot easier and, therefore, lets you land more mid-foot or forefoot.  This would give you a lot more easier access to pushing off--most "plodders" hardly push-off with the back-leg.  As you land more toward your heel, most likely (not always) you stick your leg way in the front and, because of that, you take so much longer to bring your Center of Gravity from behind where your foot falls on, then as your Center of Gravity moves forward, you merely "push" off with your ankle; you won't hardly have any knee lift but merely sticking your foot up front because they think that's the only way to move forward (it's like talking to majority of American people about how to play rugby--"How can you go forward if you can't throw the ball forward???").  You don't move forward by sticking your foot up front; you move forward by pushing off and NOT BRAKING TOO MUCH.  


                            I don't believe there's the right way or wrong way to land; but there IS the right way and wrong way to RUN as principles--it's the principles of physics.  Many ignore that and run wrongly.  You can't deny it.  Sure, there's no ONE right way to run; but there certainly IS a wrong way to run (well, not just one!!).  How you run DO matter.  And, all due respect, how you explain the way you run with (1) doesn't make sense to me at all.  It sounds to me that you ARE running wrongly.  But the only way I can tell how (wrong) is if you video-tape yourself run and send it to me or show somewhere on-line.  I had this guy (sorry, again, I forgot your name!!) who was having shin splint issue EVEN THOUGH he switched his form to mid-foot landing.  He sent me a video clip and, at the first glance, I noticed he was sticking his foot way too far in the front.  As he runs on treadmill, because of the extra "pull", his shin was being forcefully pulled back, causing excess stress on his shin.  I suggested him to run with his legs moving like a circle (like when you're pedaling), much like how Rocky is sprinting.  In 2 weeks, his shin pain was gone.  It's not so much where you land; but HOW YOU MOVE YOUR LEGS that causes how your foot lands.  I don't believe in foot placement being a crucial matter.  But how you move your legs does matter.  


                            As for the OP's blister issue, I would check your actual foot size vs. the size of the shoe.  Most running store people would tell you to get way over-sized shoes.  I don't believe in the shoe having "the thumb width" extra space at the end.  If the shoe actually fits your foot right, you don't need that much.  Consequently you end up getting the shoe 1 to 1.5 size too big.  What would happen is that the widest part of the foot falls slightly behind the widest part of the shoe.  What would happen then is that the inside of the widest part of the foot, mainly right behind the big toe, front end of your arch, gets rubbed and get blister.  If that's where you always get a blister, my first suggestion is to get the shoe that's the right size for you.  My ACTUAL foot size is 26.8cm.  I wear 27.5cm (9.5 US size) which would be way too small for majority of people.  Actually it's considered as a racing flat so it may be 27.0cm (9.0) for a radular sizing???  This should actually be right because the shoe sizing is done according to the length of the insole.  So if the insole is 27.0 or 27.5cm, the actual shoe size from the outside is much bigger anyway.  Does this make sense?  My shoe fits my foot so well that I hardly ever have any blister issue; I can count how many toe nails I've lost from running with one hand during my 40+ years of running.  

                              This is why lol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fBh2qH4QbM

                              LOL...  So you run in Newton?  Do you wear Newton shoes when you sprint too?  Oh, Danny, Danny, Danny...  He's alright!  But I'd be careful to believe EVERYTHING you see/hear on YouTube.  Just as any on-line message boards, there are a lot of junk there as well.  Ones that make me laugh is some young kid showing "how to run properly" with slow-motion clip of himself running either barefoot or in Vibram, clearly landing on his heel!! 


                                Looks like everything was covered for you. Did want to add while the blister heals up you can put duct tape over them. It will not allow any friction over that area anymore. Of course remove it after you are finished with your run.  Also sounds like your shoe is not fitting properly, might want to get that checked out.