Follow up: Seen the Physio. Not Landing Well. ... - Couch to 5K

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Follow up: Seen the Physio. Not Landing Well. Rest From Running?!!


Well, following on from my last post I saw the physio on Friday. Very interesting session.

After much checking and examining and getting me to walk up and down his room in my bra and knickers ( "walk naturally, he says!"). Yeah.

OK, so end result is he says I am landing on my toes which is putting great pressure on my ankles and calves. My glutes are weak and not taking the brunt of the runs which they should do! And my calves are so tight they need "stripping down and rebuilt". Gosh.

He said, "Do you really want to run?"

Do you really want to run? Are you nuts? I haven't gone through all of this to give up now and NOT run. I've got a Garmin for GAWD's sake!

My last question to him was "can I run tomorrow?". No.

So, I'm booked in for a sports massage on my calves tomorrow (ouch!) and I need to learn how to land lightly on my heel, mid foot then toe. I've got to do lots of glutes exercises too. I am so passionate about running now that I WILL learn how to run and land and I will start from scratch again if I need to.

I told an experienced running friend all this today and she said that runners would give anything to land on their toes! Not my physio apparently.

Oh, and there is a question over my running shoes which I should resolve tomorrow. I'll let you know how that goes!

In the meantime, I can't run.

Keep praying to the gods of running for me.

12 Replies

I can't imagine how I would feel if I was told not to run, you have my sympathy.

Good luck and keep us posted.

IrishprincessGraduate in reply to colleyflower

Thank you . Off to sports massage shortly and not really looking forward to it!


Maybe there's a lesson for all of us there... If we want advice related to our running we need to wear our running kit to the appointment?

IrishprincessGraduate in reply to CaveBear

Good idea!


I have to say I agree with your running friend in that many people think that mid/fore foot strike when running is better form than heel striking. When people don't wear shoes they usually walk by landing on their toes rather than heel as they do in shoes as landing on your heel barefoot is painful.

I walk around alot barefoot at home and land on my toes. My running style in shoes is to land on my midfoot and my walking style in shoes is to heel strike. I am not sure how someone can figure out someone's running style from watching them walk about in bare feet but then I am not a physio.

Hope you get it sorted soon and back to running.

IrishprincessGraduate in reply to kittih

It's very confusing, isn't it? Thanks for your good wishes. I'm missing running soooo much!


I have the same probelem with my calves, so sympathaise. I find regular sports massages help because, with the best will in the world, I find it very difficult to stretch my calves out properly after a run. I keep saying this I know, but I'm a huge fan of Pilates, both for strengthening weak muscles, but also helping stretch out tight muscles - I only go now for a sports massage once a month, where I was going once a week when I first started going. It's definately worth it.

Hidden in reply to Hidden

I'm also a fore foot runner - when I first started running, heel running was very difficult for me because of my tight calves. I do try changing my technique now and then since my calves have loosened, but I'm naturally a fore foot striker I think.

IrishprincessGraduate in reply to Hidden

I already do Pilates and agree with you on the pluses. I blame my ballet teacher as she was always preaching about "keep on your toes girls, keep on your toes!". Your advice about regular sports massage is key. I am definitely going to invest in this on a regular basis.


I had heard this was the right way to land too, in fact BBC4 had a recent programme on the foot and the expert stated heel striking was bad as it sent the force directly up the leg to the hip and that forefoot striking is better/natural as the force is not as strong and along a different plane. Hope it works out for you Irish Princess, have to agree about pilates it's a good all round strengthener.


Heel striking is BAD (even though that is what 80% of runners use) because heel strikers take longish strides and land on the heel with their leg straight out in front of them with their knee locked. Every time they do this the leg is acting as a big brake momentarily pausing the forward motion of the body.

Mid foot strikers use the muscles and tendons in their legs ( not their bones) to absorb the ground impact. Their leg is partly bent at the knee when landing the the combination of knee and ankle action ( as the heel comes down to the ground lightly after the forefoot has struck) is a natural shock absorber. However people who have never landed on the forefeet because modern day shoes encourage heel striking will find that their calves become sore as the calves are not used to this work. That calf soreness soon goes away.

Watch this movie -- but ignore the movie title.

IrishprincessGraduate in reply to Bazza1234

Thanks very much for the video. Very interesting. I'm going to try some of the techniques here about posture as I do tend to lean forward. Both my physio and sports masseuse are supporters of barefoot running and believe that all this cushioning in our shoes is causing lots of injuries. Loads of conflicting views out there. Who knew running was so complicated?!

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