Friday, April 4, 2008

To Heel Strike or Not To Heel Strike?

A long time debate among runners has been which running technique is the "best". With different body types, muscle composition, and running speed, running technique cannot be placed into a one size fits all solution. I've always been of the impression that the mid/forefoot strike was the "best" way. I felt that landing the heel first creates added friction, forcing the body backward, rather than trying to move in a forward direction. Little did I know, my mindset follows the Pose running mindset (which I wasn't aware of until after I had developed my running style), which believes in landing in the mid/forefoot and relying on the hamstrings and gravity to continually propel the runner forward. Of course, I'm the one who comes from a sprinters background, where running on your heels in a 100m dash race would look foolish. The Pose method also believes in the same running style, regardless of whether it is a 100m dash or a marathon. As I began my triathlon training, which branched out into marathon training, I started analyzing my run technique to be as efficient as possible. To me, it has always been a mid/forefoot strike. Again, what works for me may not work for you.

I came across this interesting article, which examines the two primary running styles (heel vs mid/forefoot).

What style works best for you?

1 comment:

Rainmaker said...

I came across that as well. I'm not sure what to make of it. I think I'm just going to keep on doing what I'm doing. I did have my run analyzed last week - but hoenstly can't remember that part of it. I was too busy thinking about run turnover, foot placement and pushoff.


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