Unfortunately as a Physio I see all too often people come into the practice that have previously been told – ‘heel striking is bad’ – information that could not be further from the truth!
The bottom line is that it is not about heel or forefoot striking, it is about where your foot lands relative to your body. The reason for this, as a very simplified version, is because if your foot lands in front of your centre of gravity – your pelvis – while you’re running, then there will be a large force coming up through your body.
It does not matter whether you’re foot is landing forefoot or heel out in front of that centre of gravity, this force will be coming up through your body.
This means that your foot, ankle, shins, knees, hips and back will have to absorb this large and repetitive force as a result of over striding! This not only greatly increases your risk of injury, it will lead to you slowing down, as you are effectively putting the brakes on every time your foot lands!
As a physio who works primarily with runners and triathletes, I have seen far more injuries as a result of people forefoot striking, than heel striking. The majority of these have unfortunately listened or read information about how forefoot running is good, then tried to change how their foot lands by pointing their toes, without changing where it lands, with many having foot, ankle, shin or achilles problems!
So rather than think about heel or forefoot striking, think about increasing your cadence, to bring your foot underneath you and stop over striding! This is especially important as we fatigue, as we tend to get ‘lazy’ and our cadence reduces and as a result so does our efficiency. And for those that give advice, be very careful with using the words ‘heel or forefoot’ striking, because naturally people will listen and hang onto words!
Small quick steps, relaxed feet and tall posture!!!!
If you are looking to be specific, come in and get your run technique filmed and analysed, it will definitely pay dividends! - firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or to make an appointment