/ Running Technique - Heel or Toe?

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Josi - on 27 Feb 2013
I'm quite new to running and I'm trying to learn to run correctly before I pick up too many bad habits - I've been told I should be running so my toes make contact with the ground, not my heel - internet sites say all sorts of conflicting things - run landing on your toes, heels, mid way between your heel and your toe...

Is it then maybe a preference thing? Or do people think there's a right and wrong answer?
Stash - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Josi:
Do what feels right.
Josi - on 27 Feb 2013
I mostly run landing between my heel and my toe with my foot flat-ish - this feels most natural....
redscotti - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Josi: Depends on your natural stride pattern, your cadence, the terrain, the distance. Also different if you want to get into 'barefoot' (minimal shoes) running.
Josi - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to redscotti: I read a bit about barefoot running and I've never used cushioned shoes anyway, so bought some barefoot shoes and they're great. They do encourage me to run a bit more on my toes, but it's still more foot flat-ish.
r0b - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Josi:

Concentrate on where your feet are striking the ground rather than how they are striking; feet need to be striking the ground underneath your centre of gravity, not in front of it
Ander on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to r0b:
> (In reply to Josi)
>
> Concentrate on where your feet are striking the ground rather than how they are striking; feet need to be striking the ground underneath your centre of gravity, not in front of it

r0b is right, imho.

If you're in barefoot shoes, I'd be surprised if you can overstride (and so heel strike) for a significant amount of time- though when you're tired someimes you'll likely tend towards landing on your heels.
Irk the Purist - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Josi:

Run how you like and how it feels comfortable but you shouldn't be running on your toes unless you're a sprinter.
Rollo - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Ander:
> (In reply to r0b)
> [...]
>
> r0b is right, imho.
>
> If you're in barefoot shoes, I'd be surprised if you can overstride (and so heel strike) for a significant amount of time- though when you're tired someimes you'll likely tend towards landing on your heels.

Yes ^^these two. To avoid overstriding, make sure your cadence is high, say in the 90s
IainRUK - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Josi:
theres no wrong answer.. just run..

your body will sort itself out..

I'm a forefoot runner but had severs disease as a kid..

So running was painful so I just ran on my toes...
Josi - on 27 Feb 2013
oki doke thank you for all the advice... I'll stick with what feels natural :)
yorkshireman - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

I'm currently reading 'Eat and Run' by Scott Jurek who advocates a shorter stride length (saying that most runners take too long a stride) as this increases efficiency by minimising time on the ground, and also means that your weight is more centred over the foot and you naturally end up with more of a midfoot strike.

I've tried it a couple of times but then I naturally fall back to what feels right, and on ever-changing trails the stride length options are usually fairly limited but its worth a try.
SteveRi - on 27 Feb 2013
I find it more useful to think about keeping the cadence up rather than what my feet are doing: 'legs, legs, legs'.
Adam15 - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Josi:

Better to run on your toes, most people don't realise that running on your heels puts extra pressure on your knees. Hence if you are trained to run you are taught to run on your toes keeping the foot as flat as possible (no roll side to side)
IainRUK - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Adam15: It does put more strain on your feet though. I have PF and mortons neuroma from running in a very forefoot style.. swings and rounndabouts but I have avoidded serious knee issues..
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dave frost - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Josi: I havent read all replies but the general idea is this. The most natural way for you to walk and run is without footwear. This forces a more natural gate. Bio mechanics 101 says walking is a pulling motion, heel to toe, running is a pushing motion, toe to heel. If you not sure whats right take your shoes off and try it for a bit.

If you run heel to toe bare foot it will be agony, and you most likely, just wont do it anwyay, try runnign on a pavement or hard surface. But not too much.

Barefoot comes with some warnings of not doing it too much to start with as your joints wont be used to it, and you braing will have to reprogramme a bit to make your gate work as it should, instead of how it works with footwear.

Hope that helps.
Dave

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