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


      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 was running at the club yesterday and I was thinking about you (not that way!! ;o)).  Had a hell of a time looking for this thread with all the traffic that we have lately...  At any rate...  I personally don't really like people saying "Oh, just run and you'll fine the most natural running form..."  If so, we don't have to worry about running form and no need for any of those technique drills.


      I've been sick for a few weeks.  I had a hell of a time trying to keep up my running while sick but I kept at it even for 15 minutes.  It was probably last Wednesday or so I finally started to feel okay...  So yesterday, I was feeling alright and I decided to push a bit...I only ran about 50-minutes but I was picking up the pace within my comfort zone...it was a bit hard but I was "pleasantly tired".  Toward the end of the run, of course as you know, on treadmill, the pace is set (unless you change it) and you have to keep it up if you don't want to be thrown off against the wall.  So while the pace is "comfortably hard", I was playing with my form.  You know how it goes; you shift the knee lift, arm swing, foot plant...and position of Center of Gravity...  And you'll find the "spot" where, all of a sudden, you feel easier.  Now THAT is the form you want to remember.  From my experience, when you feel that is when the C of G is relatively right underneath where you place your foot down.  You stand against the wall and place your hand, oh, somewhere around the chest height and pit them against the wall.  You position your body at, say, about 10-15 degrees against the wall with your hands on the wall...and try to run (as if you're pushing the wall forward).  You pump your knees up and down...and most likely, you'll be planting your foot the same spot.  Now you're planting your foot BEHIND your C of G.  You kinda sorta keep your body position that way and now you move your legs like a circle...  As your foot comes down, because it's moving like a circle, it's coming back toward you as it goes down low and, as it comes down on the ground, it's actually being pulled backwards.  This is called "paw-back".  You may land mid-foot, you may land heel first slightly...  But the important thing is your foot is moving like a circle and your foot is almost being pulled backwards as it comes down to the ground.  You either land right beneath the C of G or maybe slightly ahead of it but not much...  You run like this and it would be very hard to land on the heel first.


      The coach of Yoko Shibui, Shigeharu Watanabe, brings his team, Team Mitsui Sumitomo, to Kimming, China, for high altitude training.  He told me that he encourage his runners to walk up the 3 flights of stairs at the hotel.  He tells them to feel the C of G and, when it gets it right, it feels as if you are "rolling upward naturally..."  Play around the position of your body and how parts of your body move while running on treadmill, at challenging but comfortably fast and see how it feels.  When, all of a sudden, you feel easy.  THAT is the form you want.

      I am The Tortoise

        There is more out there about running form. ChiRunning, Good Form Running and The Pose Method of Running just to name a few. Check each of them out and see how similar they are. All mid-foot, all high cadence, all of them incorporate a straight posture and a forward lean. Like MrNamtor, I learned my running form between 1979 and 1982 and at that time long runners were always taught a heel to toe running form. Sprinters were taught to stay on their toes. I have not personally made a decision as to what is best for me. I know my joints hurt the day after a long run so at some point I may have to make a stronger effort to learn a mid-foot strike. But do the research for yourself and see what you think. Many say the mid-foot strike causes less impact in your joints.


        Blister problem is most likely shoe fit or possibly laced too tight over the area in question. With the shoe on your foot check where the blister is and then check the shoe and sock to see if something irregular in the area might be causing it. My perfect shoe may not be right for you at all.


        My calves hurt during a run if the soles of my shoes get too worn out. I am a heavy guy and the cushioning loses it's resliency prematurely due to my weight and the dreaded heel-strike. Then my calf muscles are working overtime to keep my feet in the proper alignment since the shoes are just rolling side to side at that point. (When the foam in the soles is stiff and new it keeps the shoe level when I step instead of the calf muscles having to do it.)


        Lace up tight, loose, normal? I use Yankz! brand speed laces and I set them rather snug. But since they are made of a strong elastic they do have a little bit of give when I stride. But again, this is my personal preference and yours may be different.