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Couch to 5K
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No Heels today!

Hi All,

Well I went out today and did my own thing! I did the 5minute walk, then I jogged for 5 and then walked for 2, repeating this for about 28 minutes. The object of today was to try and land on my feet properly, not striking my heels, as I don't want a repeat of the awful back pain of last week. It got better as I went round, plus with my hands palms up as suggested by a fellow C25Ker, it wasn't too bad in spite of the challenge of running into the wind. I've had some really helpful replies about posture, including running like an assassin which made me smile! Thanks to everyone for their help. I'm going to put the new tips in place on Thursday, so I'll let you know how I get on.


6 Replies

I would be really cautious about trying to change from being a natural heel striker to being a forefoot runner. There really is no concensus of opnion on which is better for you, but proponents of forefoot running (usually anyone who has just read Born to Run) tend to be rathe evangelical about it and insist it is the only way and we are all damaging ourselves by heelstriking.

What is quite likely is that if you have been walking/running with one style all your life, suddenly deciding to do it differently is going to take quite a bit of getting used to for your muscles, tendons and neuro-muscular system, and forcing this change while you are still starting out with running is more likely to cause, rather than cure, injury and discomfort. The best way to run is the way you run naturally, certainly unti you are used to running. If you want to change to emualte barefoot runners then that is up to you, but I would tread carefully (hah!) at first and then incorporate any change very gradually. I would also say it is most unlikely that placing your feet on the floor the way you have always done is likely to be the cause of back pain. It is much more likely to be a result of weak back muscles or abdominal muscles.

For the record, I do not say any of this because I have a dog in the fight re heel striking - I am by nature a midfoot striker.


Thanks Rignold, that's really helpful advice and I shall take it on board. I'm going out again tomorrow so fingers crossed!


I agree with Rignold changing the way you run is more likely to cause you injuries and if it must be done it should be done very gradually. You will almost certainly revert to your normal 'strike' when you are not thinking about it. I am not sure why toe striking is seen as best when the correct natural walk is heel to toe and as such our heels have been designed to take our body weight and our toes certainly haven't. The maximum point of bounce in my lovely Brooks Ghost shoes is definitely the heel if we are not supposed to be heel striking why do they put it there ? ;)


Thank you for your advice; I agree with you about why is toe striking seen as the best way to run. Several people have said that striking hard on my heels may be the cause of back pain, I think I probably should have started this running lark when I was much younger!


Has it only started since you have been doing a lot of running then? My shoes have such bouncy heels I just float in them I am not a big heel striker though I seem to barely pause on my heel then go straight down maybe get gait analysis done ! Age is irrelevant btw ! ;)


Well I have what they call "Nurses back"; years ago we used to lift patients up the bed etc. and consequently nurses of a certain era suffer from back and shoulder aches & pains. The lower back pain is something that seems to have developed though since I started running. I'm going to push on though, but might go back to the trainer shop and have a chat with them.

Thanks so much, have a good day.


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