You’ve likely heard a lot about foot strike in running. You may have asked yourself, “does it matter where my foot strike is?”
Consistently having a heel strike is like putting on the brakes with each step. It can be an inefficient way to run. Your anterior chain must work to slow down your forefoot. Your posterior chain will have to work to get your momentum going again. This can lead to a whole host of problems from shin splints, to knee, IT band, and hip issues. All the way up the chain.
In a forefoot or mid-foot strike, your center of gravity shifts over your base of support. This is a more natural movement with no “stop-start like” motion.
What some people don’t realize, yet, is how much your shoes impact your foot strike. You can try and try to forefoot or midfoot strike all you want, but if your shoe has a built up heel, this will not allow it.
Not convinced? Try running without shoes.Where do you strike? Most likely your forefoot or midfoot. This is the most natural way and most efficient form.
Yet, since most of our bodies are not used to this, most of us need to ease our way into this form of running. This can take years to do. Think of how long you’ve been wearing the shoes with the thick heels with cushion.
Try experimenting with the different shoes in your closet. See where you strike with the various shoes. Each shoe, given they differ enough, will most likely lead to a different foot strike.
When your running is more efficient and more natural, your heart rate will come down as well. You are not expending as much energy during your runs.
You are able to run faster, more efficient, and keep your heart rate lower.
I have slowing been working into a more natural running shoe. After almost 15 years of running in a heel strike promoting shoe, it has been a gradual progression. I rotate between about 4-5 pairs depending on how my body feels that day. I am mindful of my body to make sure I don’t transition too fast to prevent injuries. It should be a slow built up as you strengthen the intrinsic muscles of your foot. The key is to do a gradual transition.
If you are looking for more instruction on running techniques, check out this online Running Technique Course offered by kinetic-revolution.
I am astounded by the feel of a more natural running form, my heart rate, and efficiency at which I am able to run, now.
How about you? Where do you footstrike? When did you notice that you needed to make a change? Have you begun the transition? Please share in the comments below!
Until Next Time…
Be the Change~
However, the way you change your footstrike isn’t as simple as controlling where your foot lands.