Chaging from heel strike to forefoot landing

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  • Kevin Saunders 3 wrote (see)

    Just in case anybody is still following this thread,

    My feet have been feeling better with each run and last fridays run was for 20 min solid forefoot style and no aches & pains the following dayimage

    Only a tight left leg calf muscle, which is nearly healed today and should be ok for tomorrows run (hopefully).

    Well how wrong was i.

    Went out Monday morning at 5am felt ok after a 5 min brisk walk, then into the run i went as the voice in my earphones told me from my C25K app, i got about a mile and my left calf muscle went again.

    The pain was so bad i couldn't continue even though i tried after trying to stretch the calf out on the edge of the curb but to no avail i had to abort the run(gutted).

    I hobbled the remaining mile back home sulking like a wounded dog, got changed and went to work.

    I sit here now writing this out wanting to get out but know i cant and proberbly wont be able to now for at least a week or till its healed properly.

    If any of you could offer any advice to try to stop my calf going again please feel free im all ears.

    Thanks from one wounded, gutted and feeling sorry for oneself runner

  • XX1XX1 ✭✭✭

    KS3 -- You could try calf guards...  I doubt there's any sound scientific evidence that conclusively proves they're of any benefit but a lot of folk swear by them... Also, whilst returning from injury you could also wear a calf support but not for any longer than absolutely necessary.

  • Taxi Driver wrote (see)

    KS3 -- You could try calf guards...  I doubt there's any sound scientific evidence that conclusively proves they're of any benefit but a lot of folk swear by them... Also, whilst returning from injury you could also wear a calf support but not for any longer than absolutely necessary.

    Never heared of them, but thanks anyway ill google themimage

  • You might find them under leg sleeves. Having said that, I'm one of the doubters.

    Since one rationale for forefooting is to supposedly prevent injuries due to heelstriking, yet it is causing you an injury, one has to ask why you would want to carry on trying. If you do, you clearly need to cut back on the amount of forefooting in any one outing and build very gradually and carefully.

    I suppose maybe you could be picking up an injury associated with unaccustomed running in general, rather than forefooting per se, but that's hard for me to judge. The fact that you are on the C25K program makes me think that. In that case, you have a long-term project to gradually strengthen the sinews and ligaments, which takes longer than the muscles and aerobic system. So if this is likely to be the case, don't jump with both feet into so much forefooting!

  • Steve c

    I think the cause was i changed to minimlist shoes part way through the program and went straight into a 20min run.

    I am seriously thinking about starting the C25K program from the begining again with my minimlist shoes (as i have thrown my old ones away) but obviously not till my current injury has gone completly.

  • What is common is for runners to wear shoes with a raised heel, ie not minimalist but still fore or midfoot strike.

    What happens is that when you fore or mid foot strike you stretch the calf muscle far more than when you heel strike. When you wear minimalist shoes you stretch it that much more.

    The idea is that if you wear shoes with heel cushioning then you only stretch the calf as much as you would when heel striking.

    I did read quite an indepth theory (can't remember how much research based it was) but didn't bookmark it so don't know where to find it.

    I would suggest trying out something like Nike Frees, the least minimal. They have tons of cushioning and aren't too expensive. I like them as a slightly heavier training shoe. Again, heavier shoes are good for muscle developement.

    Other things you could look at is slowing down your running, avoid hills and avoid running on the road. Introduce these things slowly.

    Maybe add quinoa to your diet. It's got the full range of amino acids and has the mitochondria that promotes muscle growth which is what you need to do do lengthen your calf muscles.

    Also look at your everyday footwear. If you have heels on you normal shoes this will not help you running in minimalist shoes. Try going barefoot at home and wearing flat shoes casually at least some of the time.

  • whm that is an excellent description of the problem IMHO and a there is a video of exactly this point about forefooting with a minimalist shoe on vimeo

  • Kevin, I suffered problems with both calf muscles after switching to fore/midfoot striking because of stability problems. I initially tried Inov8 Road X255's, which I found too hard for me as an old geezer, then I tried Saucony Mirage which had more cushioning but I still had persistent problems. Eventually I was recommended Saucony Powergrid Hurricane 15's as they are suited to midfoot strikers but have much more cushioning & stability too. First time out they felt much better & (touch wood) I've been ok since, I still get tight calfs but I have also used & like the compression sleeves. Perhaps minimalist shoes are a step too far? They were for me!

  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭

    I switched from heel-strick to fore-foot-strike by spending 6 months in VFFs at the start of 2010 and starting from scratch ... you cannot heel strike in VFFs (it hurts!), so you quickly adapt. Calf muscles needed some conditioning but that came alongside the slow build up. I then switched to racing flats and have been in them ever since.

  • You can get just as many injuries landing forefoot as heel strike, just different ones. This is because people focus on the wrong thing -which part of the foot lands first. This is a mistake because you can overstride landing on your forefoot and you can actively land on your forefoot too. Both of which can lead to injuries.

    The focus should be on landing under your general centre of mass (under your hips). When you do that correctly the you will most probably land on your forefoot. It's not about the shoes, it's not about which part of the foot lands first per se, it's where you land that counts.

     

  • Roger the dodger wrote (see)

    Once foot is planted quads and glutes do most of the propelling with just an extra flourish from the calf to finnish, adding that extra spring in your step.

    image

    Nope. Quads don't propell us forward and niether do the calf muscles for that matter. Quads turn off imediately after mid-stance and the calf muscle can only push up.

  • Shoes small like horse piss,

    You do seem very knowlegeble about correct form, do you run pose or chi style at all, if so how or where did you learn

  • Dr.Dan wrote (see)

    I switched from heel-strick to fore-foot-strike by spending 6 months in VFFs at the start of 2010 and starting from scratch ... you cannot heel strike in VFFs (it hurts!), so you quickly adapt. Calf muscles needed some conditioning but that came alongside the slow build up. I then switched to racing flats and have been in them ever since.

    I'm in brooks green silence, they have a 4mm drop so i'm told

  • SMLHP didn't say forward, simply said propell. The hardest part of running isn't travelling forwards but simply keeping your ass off the floor. Try running on the spot with a 180 strikes per min cadence for however long you would normally run, and you'll still feel pretty tired.

  • Kevin. I used to run Chi for a few years, then I looked into Pose and 'saw the light' image. I'm now a level 1 Pose Method Coach.

    RTD. Legs are there for support only -they just go along for the ride

  • For long distance I can see where you're coming from, but for shorter/ faster stuff, strong legs kinda help, and that includes calves and quads.

  • RTD

    Of course. Not saying you don't use them. You just don't use them to propell yourself forward. Gravity (gravitational torque) is the primary force in forward propultion. Muscles are there to support against gravity. The faster you run the greater the ground reaction force, the stronger your quads need to be.

  • First off sorry to all those who aren't bothered by this but here goes.

    It's all simply a matter of force vectors and component parts. Gravity acts down simples (gravitational torque?), muscles (quads & calves) act against gravity and push up when contracted. If you are standing up straight this will result in a jump, straight up and back down.

    If we now add in some degrees of lean forward (at the ankles) and repeat, we will jump forward. The muscles are still pushing up relative to themselves but now due to the angle of lean will be acting against both gravity and friction between the ground and foot/ shoe. This will result in less height in the jump for the same effort but some forward motion due to the reaction against friction.

    It is this reaction against friction between foot/ shoe and ground (the forward component) that moves the person forward, how far depends on the verical component keeping you in the air long enough for the horizontal to do it's job. Total effort of the muscles being divided between the vertical (against gravity) and the horisontal (against friction).

    So in short all of those muscles in the legs that when contracted produce vertical motion (glutes, quads, calves etc.) are in fact propelling you forward when combined with the correct angle of attack and sufficient friction (try running on ice).

     

     

  • Shoes smell like horse piss wrote (see)

    Kevin. I used to run Chi for a few years, then I looked into Pose and 'saw the light' image. I'm now a level 1 Pose Method Coach.

    RTD. Legs are there for support only -they just go along for the ride

    I was looking for a pose coach nr Hucknall recently to no avail.

    Few in london but a bit far to travel.

  • The easiest way I found to change running style was just to forget all the science stuff, and run on tarmac in bare feet (barefoot running!) for progressively longer periods of time. I think I started with about three minutes out, three minutes back and built up from there;

    Now, I'm happy with a seven miler over the moors in bare feet although the winter will probably see me in vivobarefoots...

    I have found it to be slower but then I was never a gazelle anyway, and the ground can be very slippy off road. The enjoyment more than makes up for it though!

  • RTD

    Your first paragraph is correct, the rest isn't. I'll reply via PM so not to hyjack this thread too much and bore some of the readers.

  •  

    Found a guy doing good form running in Loughborough just down the road from me next month.

    James Dunne is his name

    Kinetic Revolution is his web site.

    P.S

    I stand corrected by him he is not a pose or chi running coach to save any confusion. 

     

  • James has kindly offered a discount code for all to use when booking on one of his workshops. 

    The code is

    KIN3TCR3V

  • Cheers for the message SMLHP, I have been educated image

  • Shoes smell like horse piss wrote (see)

    Kevin. I used to run Chi for a few years, then I looked into Pose and 'saw the light' image. I'm now a level 1 Pose Method Coach.

    RTD. Legs are there for support only -they just go along for the ride

    Where do you coach?

  • Just googled pose style, to be honest I can't really see that much difference between what is desribed and illustrated and Chi running. there may be a difference in emphasis, Pose appears to be aimed at heavy duty athletes whereas the Chi running books seem to be aimed at inept joggers who are liable to hurt themselves.

    Both appear to describe something like this

    http://www.myhero.com/images/guest/g38439/hero34317/g38439_u36569_jesse_2.JPG

  • Im sure SSMHP will chime in soon and explainimage

  • As long as you do not overstride and bang your heel into the ground I should not waste time or money trying to change. If you look at the figures for how many people are striking mid foot let alone forefoot after 15 miles of a marathon you will realise that for ordinary runners you are wasting your time. I am in Thailand where everyone runs on their toes because they never wear shoes and are used to going barefoot. It has not made them world class runners though! Having said that there were seven Thais faster than me in my age group at Khon Kaen International Marathon this year. I am not much of a runner though. Read about it in www.oldmarathonrunner,co,uk

  • kevin - I coach in Leeds. Did you get my message?

    I used to think Chi and Pose were the same. They are not, although do share some elements.

    Pose method is based around physics and physiology. It's often said that there isn't 'one style fits all'. Actually, fundamentally, there is. From a muscularskeletal point of view, we function identically, and gravit affects us all equally -fundamentally, we all move the same way. We cannot run until we fall, and we cannot fall until the body is positioned to allow that fall. Pose simply works with the physics of that rather than against it.

    When I first started reading about Pose I too thought it was a bit complicated and aimed at elite runners. But, it's actually rediculously simple, just not so easy to implement for some.

    It's just using your body weight to work with gravity rather than against it.

    (I make regular comments on Pose on my 'No Pushing' Facebook page if anyone is interested).

  • Andrew Turner 15 wrote (see)

     If you look at the figures for how many people are striking mid foot let alone forefoot after 15 miles of a marathon you will realise that for ordinary runners you are wasting your time.

    Ironically, It's the opposite image Overstriding is wasting time...and energy

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NkY83BpFlMPIDW8gncVc8gmnIHQqc7qvd6kTY94nVjo/pub

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