Foot Strike in 5k Running – Barefoot, mid-foot, front-foot, heel strike

You’ve been running a while right?

OK, good. Go get an old pair of running-only shoes. Not day-to-day shoes.

Turn ’em upside down and look where they wear out. If the heel is wearing out then you heel strike. If the bit under where your toes start is wearing out then you strike mid-foot or forefoot.

So no argument there please. I don’t care what the video analysis might say about you. The evidence is literally staring you in the face from your shoes.

Note we pretty much ALL heel strike whilst walking.

There are undoubtedly great runners who heel strike.

However if you heel strike then your foot has to roll down from the heel and onto the front of the foot before you push off. That takes time. Not a lot of time. But time nevertheless. If you heel strike you cannot escape that obvious fact. That wasted time multiplied by the number of steps you take is a LOT of wasted time. Heel striking is slower.

IT might be faster for you now. But it IS slower than it otherwise could be. It is slowing you down.

There are also other factors at play where heel striking acts as a cushioning brake as the mass of your body move from behind the heel to in front of it. This weight transfer process also take its toll on the knee. It’s probably why you get knee or hip injuries.

Fore-foot or mid-foot (flat-foot) striking requires less contact time with the ground. It more naturally has more of the weight further forwards and more naturally engages more muscles groups better. It puts a bit more strain on your calves. So you can’t change overnight without building up your calf muscles.

You’ve probably got little calf muscles as well right? Yep. That’s because you heel strike (often!). More proof.

Start to use those poxy calf muscles for midfoot running too much too soon and you WILL have all sorts of calf, soleus, achillees problems. And these can take a LONG time to heal.

It might take a year to gradually transition. At the end of that you will probably be no faster but you will be in a  good place to GET FASTER WITH LESS INJURIES.

Go for it.

Leave a Reply