Couch to 5K
53,046 members85,135 posts

How to land!

I've noticed on the C25K app it says to land on the heel of your foot when running, but the NHS website says to land on the middle part.

Can anybody help? Which is the best way to avoid knee pain?

16 Replies
oldestnewest

Mid foot. Avoid that heel strike! I think that's the only time I fell out with Laura (oh that's not counting 'You and Julie'....) 😀

3 likes
Reply

Thank you! 😃

Reply

The best way to avoid knee pain is to do what comes naturally with the right shoes. Landing midfoot is probably technically better, but don't try to change at this stage, you'll hurt yourself. If you want to change once you graduate do it very very slowly and take advice from someone who knows and has experience of people doing it (ie not me). If you doubt that landing midfoot is better, try running without shoes. FTR I heel strike and I don't intend to change.

1 like
Reply

I am having physio at the min and I am being told to run heel first, then onto the midfoot and then the toe. This is to give relief to my poorly calf. It's working. It works when you run slowly, giving time to go through the whole thing. Seems a bit strange but I got used to it. Lots of us run on our toes and forefoot because we have tight calves. Ends in tears of course.

Do you have a problem with the way you are running? If not, then do what comes naturally

Reply

I have just started running again after having a baby and my left knee feels sore, I used to run on grass landing heel first, but now I can only go in the evenings on the pavement so don't know if that's why? I've tried landing both ways, mid foot is more comfy at present. Could it be lack of muscle?

Thank you for all your tips!

Reply

Always on your feet!!! :-P

I like the advice on this website: vivobarefoot.com/uk/learn

Reply

Not an expert, and was similarly confused when I came across Laura's advice. I've tried heel first (feels OK when running fast-ish), mid-foot (again, feels OK when running slowly), but can't run toe first for love nor money. I've looked at other runners on the Saturday Parkrun and the fast ones (those slim young things who wizz past us mere mortals) almost always seem to be running on their toes. I'm simply too heavy to do it, and my calves complain bitterly if I try.

The best advice I've heard is to run in a way that is comfortable.

Reply

Just to add that it may depend what kind of footwear you are using. I started C25K in walking boots (I didn't have any trainers) and then when I treated myself to some running shoes I was looking for something as ethical as possible and just by chance I ended up with minimalist and have stuck with that style (the one time I tried another sort I couldn't feel what I was doing, my knees knocked together and I almost fell over). You definitely don't go heel striking in those!

A lot of advice seems predicated on the idea that you've been running for a while and would be learning a *different* way to run rather than 'from scratch' almost. And also that you are running on a flat hard surface.

Reply

Always try and get your legs stronger! Not just your legs but all of you. You get fitter as you run more regularly. Don't do too much as that's the quickest way to get injured. Go steady!

Walking, cycling,swimming all help as does doing keep fit at the gym or at home. Zumba etc etc is all good

Reply

I let my feet decide, and appear to have a mid-foot strike, but read that heel strikes are a fast track to tibia pain. I suspect that it can vary from one person to the next.

Reply

Yes, what Mfam said.

The way to land on your feet is the way you have been doing it thus far. Trying to change the way you footstrike is literally tryng to relaeran to walk while learning to run. It is a fast track to injury.

The insistence on heel striking in C25k is as absurd as the evangelical devotion to forefoot striking among everyone who has just read 'Born to Run'.

If you have got through your whole life (barring the first 12 months or so) landing on a particularly part of your foot and you are not crawling around on gnarled stumps, then carry on that way.

2 likes
Reply

I had the same question. I decided not to land on my heel. Somehow it did not feel right. It just did not suit. I now let my feet do the running and am much better for it. My advice: do what you are comfortable with.

Reply

I just run and don't analyse how I run. So far no injuries, and I graduated and now run 6K X 3 times a week. Make sure u take rest days and when possible run on softer surfaces (grass, mud, firm gravel)

Reply

I'm only a Week 5-er but today I tried putting my heel down very deliberately (but not hard I hasten to add) during the breaks between runs. It felt as if it was helping my calves to stretch during the session which really helped me. I thought that if I did this during the walking it would gradually change my running as I'd get used to the movement from heel to toe.

Reply

I don't know the answer but you will know what feels right for you. I would however recommend avoiding stretching out your stride (pace comes from cadence, not from forcing an unnaturally long step) and ensuring that you have properly fitted running shoes (bought following bio mechanical or gait analysis).

Reply

Thank you everyone! I've just got back from day 2 of week 2 and it's much more comfy to just not think about it too much and see what comes naturally. It's lovely to have all your support!

1 like
Reply

You may also like...