CONFLICTING TECHNIQUE ADVICE

Hi - I've just started week 3, so complete beginner.

Laura says in week 2, I think, run and land on your heel to avoid injury. I have subsequently looked at the NHS choices webiste for more information as suggested, and on there it is suggested one runs and lands on the middle of ones foot. I suppose a lot of people are going to say run how it best suits you but I find it strange that the same 'outfit', ie the NHS website and Laura give conflicting advice. Any views?

13 Replies

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  • Yeah I seem to remember talk about that. Heel striking. It doesn't seem natural to me so I don't do it.

    Run in the way that feels natural to you. Chances are your heel won't strike the ground first. There's probably a poll here about it. It would be interesting to see how many heel strikers there are compared to fore and midfoot strikers

  • There are many schools of thought on how the foot should strike the ground. Everyone who has ever read Born to Run insists you should only run on your forefoot, preferable barefoot. Whatever works best for you and feels most natural to you is the way to go.

  • Just one of those things that happens as sport becomes much more 'scientific'. Research is done, advice is amended, other research is done, advice changes again.....etc...etc... I think it's true to say that mid/fore foot is now accepted as better but many runners still heel-strike and don't feel any the worse for it. It takes a lot of re-training to alter your normal running style.

    The podcasts were made while the heel-strike was considered the norm and can't (or won't) be re-made we've been told.

    So, yep, just go with what feels right for you. If you're starting out, mid-foot is probably the better way to go as then you won't overstride and possibly injure yourself.

    Good luck with the programme!

  • A 'serious' runner that I work with told me it took him 6 months training himself to change from heel to forefoot. He told me to do whatever feels natural to begin with.

  • I think the best advice is to make land-strike when your foot is directly in line with your hip? (I'm sure I'll be corrected if wrong)

    When I had my gait looked at, part of it was to bend knees and keep foot flat on ground, as to mimic the position of feet and ankles so they could check for alignment.

    For me, the most natural thing seems to keep bounce to a minimum and kind of skim the ground rather than make kind of big circular strides, and when I do this my heel IS the first bit of my foot to hit the ground, but only just! I guess it's down to how your legs are made. I experimented with fore- and mid-foot, but it felt really wrong, mid-foot really jarred my back and fore-foot just wasn't happening!

  • The biggest NO-NO of running is overstriding - that is, with your foot landing (usually on your heel) way out in front of your hips. Heelstriking can also ( for some) lead to foot "slapping" - you can literally hear this when somebody runs by you. Do whatever it takes to run quietly!!

  • I'm not qualified or experienced enough to say but I just run how I run, but I do go on my toes up hills which helps.

  • I never really took to much notice of that , it was one of the few bits of advise from laura i didnt follow ,sorry laura :) do what comes naturally :D

  • I agree with everyone else. Run the way it feels natural for you. I tried the heel striking as per Laura and my body didn't like it. Ran much better ignoring that little piece of advice ;)

  • I've just finished week 3 and starting getting painful shins. I took on Laura's advice to heel strike but then Looking in to it, everyone else says heel striking can be a factor. Yesterday I got new trainers and took some advice from SweatShop and went out again, ran how I felt best which is mid foot and less heel, and it feels much better!

  • I think I'm going to go and get some pro advice on shoes - didn't want to until I progressed, unless it was another 'whim'. I'm starting wk 5 next week so serious distances looming. Good luck Northernspirit.

  • Think there is lots of conflicting info out there, but the general consensus appears to be to ensure that your foot is landing below your hip and not in front of you as this will slow you down and could cause injury. I'm in the flat landing camp (following my Chi running course). But you need to do what feels best for you and only change things slowly.

  • Thanks Andy - this landing in line with your hip thing seems to be a common theme - I've never even given technique a thought, I've 'just run'. Will need to think about it more - give me something to think about rather than how many more minutes to go!

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