The heel strike

When you land on your heels first, this is called a heel strike. It seems that most people run this way, but experts say it’s a “learned” type of run, because we naturally (as children) gravitate toward a mid-foot strike.

The heel strike does help the legs absorb shock (because you’re landing on a greater surface area), but it does tend to slow you down.

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  1. Just run around barfoot for a while and feel what your feet automatically do…landing on the heel is very painfull because there is nothing smoothering the impact of your weight.

    Landing on the toes/midfoot will be smooth because the foot and leg can ‘roll out’ the power of the impact.

    Same when you make a Judo/Karate jump and roll..if you roll and ‘roll out’ the impact of your landing you can endure a much harder impact than when you land straight on your feet..ouch…

    Spreading the force of the impact over a larger area, no matter if over the foot during running or over the whole body when making a jump and roll, is the ‘secret’ to less pain.

    Shoes will always change ‘the impact’ and running on the toes may not feel comfortable with some shoes, so better try them out in the shop.

  2. The “Girl on Trail” series is great, especially this story! Thanks Frugivore!

    When I was training for the marathon 2 years ago, I got injured around mile 15. I see now that it probably had something to do with the WAY I was running (ie my foot strike). I can’t wait to start running again, now properly.

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