Couch to 5K
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What is your "natural" gait??

I actually don't want to know -- what I should have said is "How do YOU know what is your natural gait"??

I am willing to bet that those who are heel strikers are not in fact "natural" heel strikers -- but are simply carrying their walking gait over to running in an attempt to "go faster" .

So - how do you know what is your natural gait?? Try this -- find a nice hard flat stretch of concrete footpath . Make sure it is smooth with no pebbles sticking up -- and then run on it for a while. Heel strikers can come back and tell us if heel striking is truly their "natural "gait!! :)

6 Replies

try it again barefoot like nature intended and see if it makes a difference!


WOOPS ! -- that was what I meant - run barefoot on concrete!! :(


Does gait really matter?

From what ive been reading lately, it doesn't matter what your gait is, just find a comfortable pair of running shoes and your done.

Theres no scientific proof that I can find that says buying a shoes to fit your gait will prevent injury. Theres no company that I have found that advertises their shoes to fit certain gaits say they do prevent injury ... the all say "could" prevent injury because theres no evidence to back the claim.

Am i missing something?

1 like



Running barefoot? It's only ouch if there are pebbles or sharp bits and you have super soft feet from too much shoe-wearing/filing off hard skin/moisturising etc.


My tuppence worth:

Heel striking in itself is not a "bad thing". The problem comes from overstriding - reaching out too far with your leading leg. That's when you tend to make contact with the ground, hard, with your heel first, and rather than helping you propel yourself forwards, your whole leg acts as a break (and also jars the heck out of your skeleton, which can lead to injury).

Your leading leg should make contact with the ground under your hips/centre of gravity, the main propulsion should come from the back leg pushing you forwards. You may still heel strike (but not in such an extreme way) and that's fine. The best way to achieve this is by running with a slight forward lean and using gravity to your advantage. Imagine you are about to tip forwards: you'll instinctively step out to keep yourself upright. Carry on doing this and you're running - in a much more efficient, relaxed, comfortable way.

I ran for a train the other day, wearing thin ballet pumps (so effectively barefoot); I was running up on the balls of my feet, like a child, or a sprinter. It's a different technique and not how I'd run in the park or track or elsewhere. Oh and I caught the train! That's what C25K does for you ;-)


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