Running gait advice

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  • Running gait advice
  • WackoAK
    Member

    I’m hoping this does not turn out to be a heel strike / fore strike argument but I’m looking for advice from people who have switched to forefoot striking when running.

    I currently run at 7:30ish minutes per mile (using heel strike) but I’ve noticed that when running with the mrs (averaging 9mins per mile) that I naturally run with forefoot strike.

    I was planning on applying this to my normal runs but unsure about getting up to my normal speed without using heel strike?

    Any advice appreciated

    phil.w
    Member

    How long is your stride at the quicker pace?

    Increasing your stride at a greater proportion to increased cadence could be causing this.

    To try and explain that better…

    To increase your speed you can increase cadence and/or stride length.
    If you have too long a stride for the speed then you are likely to heel strike.

    If this is the case then cutting the stride length while increasing the cadence will lead to less heel strike while keeping the same pace.

    Premier Icon stever
    Subscriber

    You’ve shortened your stride to slow down to the new pace. Do that but increase your turnover. Tap tap tap. How’s that for a non-religious reply?

    WackoAK
    Member

    Cheers fellas, never really thought about that – so shorter strides but more of them?

    I’ll test it out later today.

    uponthedowns
    Member

    When I switched to forefoot striking my speed improved by about 20% and a load of aches and pains disappeared. Take it easy to start with and expect your achillies tendons to ache a bit as you will now be using them properly and will have a lot more spring in your stride. Your stride will shorten but just increase your cadence.

    Stuey01
    Member

    Leave gaits as you found them, countryside code innit.

    😛 😉

    Macavity
    Member

    There is an article in the current Outdoor Fitness magazine No3 about bare foot running, which worth reading.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    Mrs S moved to forefoot strike 12 months ago, and came second in the Snowdonia Marathon last weekend in 3:12.

    her previous times there were 3:18 and 3:23.

    matt_bl
    Member

    What do you class as forefoot striking?

    There is an advert for Newton shoes in one of the magazines which shows, impact on the front, then a loading as the whole foot touches, then springing off again from the front.

    When I’m running I’m pretty sure my heel never touches the floor and some of the runners I’ve seen (Alistair Brownlee and Vanessa Raw spring to mind) appear to do the same thing. Is there a right way and a wrong way to forefoot strike?

    Matt

    IanMunro
    Member

    Forefoot striking generally means that first peak of landing occurs in the forefoot area, but with the exception of sprinting/short distance running your heel still touches the ground. I think the classical description is that of the forefoot touching first, the heel gently touching the ground then lifting off again. Think of say running on the spot. With shoes on it’s a bit more tricky to say what counts. You could for instance if you’ve got a shoe with a raised cushioned heel, gently touch the heel of the shoe on the ground, but still be landing on your forefoot.

    IanMunro
    Member

    Forefoot striking generally means that first peak of landing occurs in the forefoot area, but with the exception of sprinting/short distance running your heel still touches the ground. I think the classical description is that of the forefoot touching first, the heel gently touching the ground then lifting off again. Think of say running on the spot. With shoes on it’s a bit more tricky to say what counts. You could for instance if you’ve got a shoe with a raised cushioned heel, gently touch the heel of the shoe on the ground, but still be landing on your forefoot.

    iDave
    Member

    How do heel-strikers run uphill?

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    backwards.

    I think that a lot of people naturally have a forefoot strike running gait as described above. I also think that a hell of a lot of people get injured trying to adopt a solely forefoot running gait.

    shandcycles
    Member

    I wear a heavily supportive shoe since I over pronate *a lot*. What are the implications for attempting a forefoot strike gait? Am I more/less likely to get injured? Should I attempt this with my regular shoe or switch to a more neutral shoe?

    uponthedowns
    Member

    I also think that a hell of a lot of people get injured trying to adopt a solely forefoot running gait.

    and your evidence is……….

    Plenty of evidence of people misinterpreting what forefoot running is all about and injuring themselves through running on the balls of their feet.

    nosemineb
    Member

    Just bought some brooks pure yesterday and went straight into a 10 mile race today. Very impressed with them.
    I swapped to mid / forefoot style about 4 Years ago now and went down the newton route. Now I just use racing / lightweight shoes for all my running. I would reccomend the change and just be prepared for tight sore calves for a while. But stretch them as I found they gave me shinsplints but I’m all sorted now.
    The misconception is your heel never touches the ground and your on your toes always, reality for me is to aim for a mid area where your heel doesn’t touch the ground first and when you do land the foot is underneath your body not in front. All IME of course!
    Try it!

    IanMunro
    Member

    I wear a heavily supportive shoe since I over pronate *a lot*. What are the implications for attempting a forefoot strike gait?

    No idea. From my own experience I used to also pronate a lot and could compress eva foam really quickly in the heels of shoes, unless it had some form of medial post. Since swapping to forefoot landing I don’t. But your reasons for heavy pronation may not be the same as mine.

    Ultimately I think what was of greater importance for me was to focus on upping cadence and reducing stride length.

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