Training Marathon
Training to run a marathon

 

Running Foot Strike

There are two main common methods to where your foot should hit the ground.

Heeloff the footmethod

Recommended for beginners, heavier runners, and to be used at a slower speed, mainlyfor injury prevention, . Heel of the foot method is done in a shuffling manner. Gently touch on the outside of the heel, then roll softly inward to the ball of the foot. Bend the knees bit to absorb shock, and push off from the big toe. This motion helps to cushion the impact and send you forward more easily.

You should keep your stride shorter to keep balanced. The farther back your center of gravity is, the harder it is to pull forward. If you attempt to increase your stride length by moving your lead leg, you will find it hard to pull your body forward without losing your balance. If you want to increase speed with the Heel of the foot  strike, make it so your legs only slightly precede you, so that the pull from your legs moves you into position. The key is really to take more steps, rather than longer ones.

Ball of the foot Method

The foot strike with the Ball of the foot  method is meant to touch the ground behind the ball of the foot, on the outside edge, and as the foot rolls inward, the knee bends. touch the ground first with the mid-foot, which includes the mid- to ball-of-foot region. Lifting the leg straight up and putting it straight down in a relaxed manner. This will minimize the time the foot is in contact with the ground, it will also allow your stride to follow the slope of the terrain, moving forward instead of digging down and hopping back up with every stride.

The Ball of the foot  method lets you increase both your length and frequency of stride. This is a more advanced method of foot strike that lets you to place your center of gravity over your supporting leg, so your foot is now in a god position to push you forward. Your stride length is now dependent on how hard you push, rather than how far you actually reach.

Recommendation

We recommend mixing both methods and use "Heel of the foot" especially in training to give your legs more cushioning. Slowly shift toward Ball of the foot method using it during speed training and as your training progress. You have to let your body first adjust to any new method, as itís not used to it. Give your legs time to get used to the new position of your feet. Remember that when you change this itís like relearning how to run, so be patient.

Beginners should start running using the Heel of the foot  technique. Beginners usually donít have the lower leg strength to safely use ore advanced techniques without risking injury. Heel of the foot is the safest foot strike, because injuries there come mainly just from hitting the ground too hard. As you progress, change to the Ball of the foot  method, just to alleviate stress.

As mentioned, "Ball of the foot"  method is recommended to the more experienced runner and especially during shorter races where the focus is more on speed. In general, The faster your feet can rebound from the ground; the less energy is wasted. The initial impact shocks the entire leg, and energy is lost while the foot rolls forward, maintaining contact with the ground. Try using it if you already have a decent speed (Below 4:30 minutes to KM) and at this pace you can usually get away with a lighter stride. You canít run this fast on your heels, nor should you, because it puts a lot of stress on the lower legs. Youíll likely find that the extra stress is fatiguing you and making you more prone to being injured.