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Couch to 5K
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Running Form

Hi all,

I was wondering whether anyone has any advice on how to not slap the ground as you run. It's only my right foot that slaps and I've been having shin pain in my right leg too. I tried Bazza's tip of trying to run as if you're escaping a prison of war camp, but the foot slapping continued. Even after finishing the run I couldn't walk without it happening :-/

Today I was doing W6R2 and also had pain on my left inside ankle.

I had flat feet as a child and after googling running form and flat feet I'm worried that I'll eventually give myself an injury.

Any advice would be lovely! :-)

8 Replies

I have had a couple of issues with this in the past. One of the reasons it was happening to me was over striding and my feet impacting the ground in front of me rather than below my hips. Maybe it could be something to do with with how your foot is striking the ground too, heel strike can cause me to slap the ground so i do try to strike a little more with my mid foot.

Also, i found that as i carried on running that i form changed of its own accord, i can only assume that as my muscles strengthen, the stresses reduce. I have mostly experimented with foot fall and found what works for me. I hope that you can find your ideal running form in time and before injury.

By the way, well done on your run.


Thanks for your advice Kurama, I tried experimenting a wee bit today and found that when I took smaller steps it seemed to help and also my overall pace.

I'm hoping I'll be like you and find something that works for me. Although, I know that most runners have some problems starting out. Fingers crossed this is just my transition into becoming a proper jogger!


Have you had your gait analysed? It may be that you need more support and padding in your shoes to help overcome this tendency. Keep the steps small and the overall pace slow.

Good luck.


I've not had my gait analysed yet. A couple of years ago I bought running shoes with good intentions and didn't actually use them. So I've been putting off getting it done in case I need to buy another pair of expensive shoes.

Might be an idea though- better to have the right shoes and be able to keep on running than carry on and end up on the injury couch!

Thanks Ullyrunner :-)


There's a school of thought that argues the human foot is built like a spring, and that all the padding and support in our running shoes prevents the foot from working like it was designed. You never see barefoot runners heel strike (it would hurt so much they would very quickly stop it). According to that line of thinking, a minimalist pair of running shoes, as opposed to a pair with yet more padding, might be the way forward.

There are of course loads of counter arguments, so this is more of a thought than a piece of advice.


I think I do heel strike with my left foot, but not with my right.

Not sure about the minimal shoes just yet as I'm about 4 stone overweight and think I read that heavier people need more padding.

Definitely something to bear in mind for the future though :-) thanks Tomas


I just looked at the bottom of my shoes and one has the heel much more worn than the other (can't remember which now) so it looks like I'm a mono foot slapper! I have been trying to run more efficiently and less floppily now that I'm a grown up graduate :)


Remember that walk Margaret Thatcher used to do with her handbag over one arm? Like she had corns and was walking on gravel in high heels? Yep. Works for going downhill on scree, mud, keeping upright on steep slippy bits, and amazingly, foot slapping. It is also the only way to cross boggy bits without sinking over the ankles - though have not stress tested it on quicksand.

Probably has something to do with the knee bend before impact but never stopped to analyse it.

Obviously for running the handbag is optional.


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