Firstly the Couch to 5K is great - I'm on week 4 and as an ex-40 a day smoker that is an achievement - I only completed week 1 without stopping on my 5th attempt and had to do week 2 6 times. Now I've just finished week 3 3 times without stopping straight off the bat. Week 4 tomorrow morning!
However I was very shocked to hear Laura advising me to ensure that I land on my heel in the week 2 podcast. Forcing a style on new runners is a very bad idea especially when it may be a bad one. Initially I complied with Laura's instruction but it felt wrong - so I did some reading:
Research is building up on potential injury risks associated with heel striking in "good" running shoes. This is intuitive - if heel-strike was natural we'd all be able to do it in bare feet. Give it a try! Your knee and hips will jar. Expensive running shoes just cushion this jarring.
Landing on our mid to fore foot allows nature's own shock absorbers to work in union - the metatarsals, the ankle ligaments and the Achilles - before the shock reaches the knees or hips. This is what they evolved to do do when we were running down kudu.
On YouTube you can find orthopaedic surgeons who run advocating bare or minimalist running styles. I'm now running in old plimsolls and I get immediate feedback if I'm doing anything wrong.
IMPORTANT EDIT: I did get some soreness in my achilles whilst running in plimsolls so I stopped immediately. After yet more research I found that the achilles loses elasticity as you age - I'm 47. I have gone back to trainers but I haven't given up on minimalist running and am doing long walks in the plimsolls coupled with heel drops and calf stretches every day.
If you're going to try minimalist running do it very slowly!!! Particularly if you're old like me.
These are good: