Landing confusion - heel or mid- foot?

Hello everyone I wanted to ask for some advice. In starting the C25K l am trying to learn a good running technique and in Wk 2 Laura advises that the heel should hit the ground first but I have now read today that I should be aiming for a mid- foot strike. Not sure what's best and a little concerned as I have had previous issues with plantar fasciitis and don't want to ' run incorrectly ' I am inclined to follow Laura but what do you do?

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15 Replies

  • Laura's advice on breathing is contentious, while the advice on footstrike is bizarre. Everything that I have ever read says a heel strike is bad, while there are adherents of both mid foot and toe strike as well. I would say avoid the heel strike and go with either of the other two that seem to work for you.

    To be honest, I have no idea what I do after four years of running..........smooth and light is always the aim.

    There's a lot to learn in this running lark..........

  • Without sounding ignorant I really don't know!! I think I land mid heel and I often run on my toes to power up hills. I suggest looking at YouTube vids on running form and google for tips too. At the start I think it's very difficult to focus on anything other than just running!!

  • Run how you have run all your life until now. Ignore Laura's spurious advice on footstriking and definitely ignore anyone who ever tells you that you should change your strike from how you do it to how they do it. There are plenty of very successful heel, mid and forefoot strikers, and an enormous number of people who suffered injuries trying to change from one to another based on bad advice/Born to Run/the way the Ethiopians do it etc.

  • I think this is a really good point... except to dsy that many people will have no idea how they have run all their lives because it is decades since they last did it and none of it feels natural.

    There's a big difference between a runner trying to change their style and someone for whom it is all pretty new.

    The other thing is that we're usually trying to encourage people to slow right down so their pace becomes sustainable... my hunch is that there's a tendency for people to lengthen stride and thus heel strike to go faster/cover more distance.

  • I can definitely relate to this it had been years since I ran prior to C25K and until I received the advice of slow down given here I actually thought that lengthening my stride as much as possible was how you ran well - possibly I was overthinking it- now I use more of a jogging action😀

  • Hi Lastlight. How are the runs. It's strange, l am listening to Sanjeev and he says to land on the mid-foot. That's what l am doing so. May be our graduates will be able to guide better. How running in the rain?

  • Hi running progressing steadily but no further running in the rain ... yet! How are you getting on with it? I find the advice and support on this forum very helpful.

  • Hi there, I agree with the others, I don't think I think about it thing I do think of though is how children run, they just run, none of this 'style' stuff, just run.....

    If you're wanting to be a serious athletic contender, join a club, get a coach, who can help with efficient use of your body movement, but otherwise, just relax and enjoy, your body knows what to do....


  • Hi and welcome. I was a heel striker and after spending nearly £300 on a sports physio for ankle problem's I won't be returning to heel first. In my case (Everyone's different) I've had to adapt but taken advice of him and links on this forum and adapted running form. I'm only in week 4 but it's made a huge difference running Midfoot. It took alot to change old habits but it's starting to feel natural now. Check out different forms of running. Pose method etc. Good luck. 🏃

  • Just run.... :)

  • Thank you for all of the responses it is reassuring.I think now I will run in the way it comes most naturally to me unless my body advises me otherwise🏃‍♀️

  • I'm glad you asked this as I've been wondering too! Different advice on podcast than written instructions!! I just run now...

  • Yes now I think it is probably best to do that ... there seems to be no 'right' way and I find it quite hard to work out how I am landing anyway!

  • I know I'm a bit late to the party but I agree - it's poor advice - especially if, like me, you've never ever run anywhere before.

    I ended up with terrible ankle (and subsequently knee) pain which meant I had to take a break for 3 weeks before it subsided. Was really cross with myself as it was so demotivating after having loved week one! I'm not overweight either, so it really was all down to the heel strike.... I started again from the beginning and now mid-way through week 3.... Hanging on in there!

  • That sounds frustrating. Well done for keeping going. Nowadays I think I probably strike mid foot although it's hard to be sure and am injury free but I have been following the nhs strength and flexibility podcasts and the exercises there seem to have really helped my knees which used to ache after a run.

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