Running Technique


I have just started a couch to 5k programme foir the second time.  the first time I got so far and suffered ankle pain. This took 3 months to recover from. Someone has suggested my running technique is wrong.

I run naturally heel first, and then the rest of my foot hitting the floor. I am now trying to change to running on the ball of my foot, after taking advice. However, it feel so unnatural, and I am realy struggling. My pace has increased but I am struggling. It does not feel natural.

Two questions - is it better to run on the ball of the foot rather than the heel, and how long should it take me to get used to it.





  • OK, so I jumped in and asked a question when there was loads of info on here anyway. Having read a lot of the information on here I have just been for another run and found that not worrying too much about getting onto the front of my foot, but leaning forward and trying to keep my steps light (hard for an 18 stoner) I have found a much more comfortable position.

    I also think for a beginner I am worrying too much - getting out and getting fitter is a better attitude to have at the moment. I have taken up cycling too so I am mixing wit some lower impact exercise.

  • It's a contentious debate. Glad you're feeling more comfortable.

    If you're using heavily cushioned running shoes, the toe end is already perhaps half an inch lower than the heel, so that can make it a bit difficult to land on the ball of the foot... so could make it feel a bit unnatural. Anyone wanting to forefoot strike is usually better off in flatter shoes.

    Different people have different natural running styles for distance running (obviously, virtually everyon runs on the balls of their feet when sprinting). I think most people would recommend a roughly midfoot landing. Perhaps slightly heel first, or slightly ball of foot first.  Nothing too exaggerated.

    One thing you might want to concentrate on is to ensure you have a short stride... with your foot landing no further forward than under your nose.  Even Usain Bolt's front foot lands pretty under his nose...  but a lot of beginners reach forward a bit, which puts unnecessary stresses on your joints.

    You're half right about not worrying too much about things... but don't be too complacent.  With the force 18stones landing on your legs with every stride, you do need to watch out for yourself, as the repeated stresses can build up to an injury. It sounds like you're researching and experimenting, so going about it the right way. Worth checking out with a PROPER running shop, to get footwear that will help you. Good luck with it.


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