New forefoot running site, blogs required!

Hi,


There is a new forefoot running site available which is constantly growing in terms of popularity, numbers and content.
We would like to invite anyone specifically with forefoot running experiences to send me a private message (with a picture if possible) of your experience in forefoot running. Good or bad. We want your experiences to be honest and non biast as we want both sides of the coin.

We will try our utmost to include all, but we will go through these and pick the most appropriate and widely varied selection. Good writing is a plus!

I look forward to receiving your stories.

Thanks
The Forefoot Runner

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Comments

  • I've got a good concise forefoot running story:

    It's starts in 1981, I was born.  

    I started walking soon after.

    I then transitioned to running around.

    I was told by everyone I walk funny "on my toes" apparently, I ran like this also.

    15 years later there is this thing called "forefoot running"

    The end.

  • Essex lion

    But surely forefoot running doesn't mean one runs on one's toes does it? To me it means that one lands on the flat of the foot and immediately pushes off with one's toes.



    I need The Forefoot Runner to confirm this or not --------
  • Ceal,

    Have a look at the website for more details.

    In a nutshell, you land on your forefoot (the balls of your feet), on the lateral side. The foot then rotates, comes down and the heel momentarily touches before springing back up again, lifting off your forefoot and toes.

    Thanks

    Andy

  • Forefoot Runner,



    Thanks, that is how I run. I am on holiday right now but when I have time I will try to respond to your request. It is indeed an Interesting topic.
  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭
    I've only got the two feet...
  • The Forefoot Runner wrote (see)

    Hi,


    There is a new forefoot running site available which is constantly growing in terms of popularity, numbers and content.

    Hi Andy, as my username suggests this is a topic that interests me (though am a heel striker when shod). Good to hear your site is growing in popularity and numbers but it seems a bit light on content right now? For instance using Chrome I'm unable to download your forefoot running programs.

    Also, was that you in the barefoot heel striking vid? not a wise thing to doimage

  • wannabebarefoot Andi wrote (see)
    The Forefoot Runner wrote (see)

    Hi,


    There is a new forefoot running site available which is constantly growing in terms of popularity, numbers and content.

    Hi Andy, as my username suggests this is a topic that interests me (though am a heel striker when shod). Good to hear your site is growing in popularity and numbers but it seems a bit light on content right now? For instance using Chrome I'm unable to download your forefoot running programs.

    Also, was that you in the barefoot heel striking vid? not a wise thing to doimage

     

    wannabebarefoot Andi wrote (see)
    The Forefoot Runner wrote (see)

    Hi,


    There is a new forefoot running site available which is constantly growing in terms of popularity, numbers and content.

    Hi Andy, as my username suggests this is a topic that interests me (though am a heel striker when shod). Good to hear your site is growing in popularity and numbers but it seems a bit light on content right now? For instance using Chrome I'm unable to download your forefoot running programs.

    Also, was that you in the barefoot heel striking vid? not a wise thing to doimage

     

    Hi,

    That is odd, I use Chrome and all seems well.

    Yes it is light on content, it is however getting more information on a weekly basis.

    I will look into the issue with downloading the program and see if anything can be resolved.

    No it wasn't me heelstriking fortunately! 

    I am however going to post some videos in the coming months with some basic exercises and tips on starting out, technique etc.

    Keep the site bookmarked!

    Thanks

    The Forefoot Runner

  • YIDDARMY wrote (see)
    I am one of these strange forefoot folk. I can run mid foot with a lot of concentration, which does prevent some calf tightness, but my natural landing is forefoot lateral, pronate as foot drops to midfoot and then lifts up. No heel to ground contact for me unless I really concentrate on it. I currently have a back injury from heel striking down a long and very steep hill about a year ago. Tiredness and lack of downhill practise left me open to damage. I can currently maintain 25mpw of slow running without any major issues but any fast work leaves me in pieces. Roll on surgery in July!

    Hi,

     

    Your gait sounds very good. There isn't much difference in a midfoot/forefoot strike. Your main concern would be the lack of heel touchdown when running. Without this your calves will certainly burn post run. I would suggest trying to introduce a slight heel touchdown on slow short runs and see how you feel. That instance when the heel touches down momentarily gives your calves that extra rest which is needed. Tip toeing without letting it down will give you sore calves for sure (this is from experience).

    I always tell any clients I train to over exaggerate when we introduce forefoot running. After a a few months, you can start to relax your running form and find your sweet spot. Mine is a midfoot strike but if I want to forefoot strike I have to (as you do) think about it more. It depends on your preference and your running style, distances and so on.

     

    Thanks

    The Forefoot Runner

  • As a midfoot runner myself (in sandals you really don't want to heel strike) I am interested in your site and look forward to seeing it grow.

  • "Forefoot running is the natural running form"

    So that being the case, why do we need to learn anything? It comes naturally to us. 

  • The real Mr I wrote (see)

    "Forefoot running is the natural running form"

    So that being the case, why do we need to learn anything? It comes naturally to us. 

    Hi,

     

    Yes it is natural, although highly cushioned, thick heeled running shoes designed to absorb impact and reduce the work of the leg muscles, skeletal system thus weakening our lower body means we do have to learn how to run.

    Thank you for look through the site anyway, and I'm always happy to answer questions from forefoot or non forefoot runners. We're not here to brain wash, more to inform and provide opportunity to whoever wants to change their running path.

    Mummysaurus, thanks for the comment. I too am a midfoot runner, although I have never ran in sandals before (I seldom run barefoot, I stick to Vibrams). Perhaps I could learn something from you!

     

    Thanks

    The Forefoot Runner

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭
    The real Mr I wrote (see)

    "Forefoot running is the natural running form"

    So that being the case, why do we need to learn anything? It comes naturally to us. 

    I'm imagining the site isn't aimed at those of 'us' who already run this way naturally and don't need to learn it, Mr I.

  • The real Mr I wrote (see)

    "Forefoot running is the natural running form"

    So that being the case, why do we need to learn anything? It comes naturally to us. 

    When he says natural I think he means that if we didn't have trainers to run around in then we would all run this way. Have you ever tried heal striking with no trainers on?

    With these modern cushioned trainers it breeds reliance on the shoe and not a solid running form.

    It personally feels very inefficient to me if I try to heal strike as I have always run on the balls of my feet, so although I'm no Mo Farah, I do find I have a natural pace that feels quite efficient.

  • http://static.wixstatic.com/media/a3fd2e_3237a7a5179b479ab74abf8ab794f482.jpg_srz_300_245_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

    I'm finding this image (landing) confuses the site.

    If you are going to use 'forefoot' then it needs to be used consistently. The use of 'barefoot' as used in the image above will confuse. Likewise with the use 'Shoe' - here I am assuming you are talking about a heel striking shod runner, and not that all shod runners (i.e. forefoot striking shod runner) run this way.

    The barefoot runner above very closely resembles the 'sprinter' gait that Lee Saxby defines  and not that of a 'forefoot/midfoot' runners. I am assuming your view is closer to Saxby's 'Runner' model as demonstrated in the clips of heel strike / foot strike. An image conveys so much information - if this is 'forefoot' then fair enough. Perhaps it is drawn at the extreme?

    As a heel striker the web site would need a lot of content to grab my interest, so if you do get some good content on transition including real world examples, then that would be interesting. 

  • Also-ran,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Indeed, the image s misleading with regard to the site's content. I will update this to match.

     

    A sprinters gait will usually have an increased stride length (obviously), longer leg extensions both when landing and kickbacks, and typically you land just in front of your body when sprinting. This, as opposed to heel striking does not slow you down. The landing platform of the forefoot allows the sprinter to transition effortless (I use the term loosely, it obviously is tiring!), and avoid opposite forces that will slow you down (as you can see from the image above - the resulting force goes through your ankle, knee and hip in the opposite direction of travel).

    This concept echoes through all types of running distances. The best example of this would be Paula Radcliffe. A fully fledged forefoot running (so much so she almost doesn't heel touchdown which can really put strain on the calves), she is a long distance runner.

    Have a look at this link of Paula Radcliffe running.

     

    Thanks

    The Forefoot Runner

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    She is wearing shoes though.

  • Hi,

     

    She is indeed, although I cannot tell which type of shoe she is wearing.

    I personally wear Vibrams, although there are other manufacturers that have more traditional looking shoes which also help transition to forefoot. I wouldn't really comment much more on what Paula wears as I am not sure.

    I would say however running forefoot, while possible with regular running shoes, makes it hard to adapt. The high heeled cushion makes it harder to forefoot and heel touchdown. The forefoot/heel touchdown almost become one because of the additional cushioning. The rigidness of regular shoes also limits the flexibility required when forefoot running.

    Perhaps a google search will reveal what she wears!

     

    On an off topic,I will be updating the images on the site for more relevant images to the site content. There should be a gradual but positive following over the coming months. And we look forward to questions (and doubts) about forefoot running. It's why we created the page. To inform.

     

    Thanks

    The Forefoot Runner

  • Vibrams alone put me off the whole forefoot running movement. Honestly you should see some of the knobjockeys who wear them at the gym Im in.

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    The thing that slightly grates with me on the website is the use of 'we' as in 'we need to learn how to run'. I and many other runners I know already land on the forefoot or midfoot and always have done. I recognise that your target audience is people who heel strike and would like to stop doing so, but a lot of runners, especially faster ones like Paula, don't heel strike and never have. Plenty of shoes have always been designed forefoot striking before barefoot shoes were even popular, too - look at where the spikes go on xc shoes for example; it's at the front, the bit you land on.

  • If people send in free content and photographs will they retain the copyright? 

    The vibram bubble has rather burst after it settled a lawsuit that alleged the company made false and unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of the five fingers.

     

  • Andy, 2 of the 3 downloads are now working ta (guess the 3rd is still being written?). I may splash out to see where/if I'm going wrong.

    On a side note, I have a pair of VFF bikilas, do you track mileage on yours? if so, what would you say is their mileage life? am guessing the (ballpark) 500 mile rule doesn't work here as there is no cushioning to go?

    ***edited to add***

    Scrap my last Q, I actually read your blog lol. New Q, how many miles have you run in that 1 pair of vibrams? 4 years in 1 pair of shoes is enough reason for most to make the change (regardless of lawsuits).

  • Wannabebarefoot Andi,

    My friend has a pair of Bilikas and I am training him at the moment. He likes that model a lot. I prefer the KomodoSport but I may change model when I purchase another pair.

    Glad the links work. And yes, the more advanced is being written and a few more additions will be on the way with more in depth material. Feel free to comment on them if you gain the courage to purchase them for 1$! Good feedback or bad. I'm happy to have constructive criticism.

    To be honest, I haven't actually calculated how many miles I've run in my Vibrams. I've had them since 2010, I'd say as a ballpark figure I've done about 1900km since 2010. Which equates to about 10km a week. So thats around 1200miles.

    Its great to look at the soles. The forefoot section is very worn (I use the term loosely, they only have 2mm of sole on them - but it "feels" like i've worn down cm's!) and the heel is still very much in good condition.

    It is probably time however to look into a new pair. I think they've done very well, and I've done very well using them.

    I will post a blog on my page with the soles to give you a better look at them.

    Appreciate the comments and suggestion.

    The Forefoot Runner

  • YIDDARMY, I did post a reply but it hasn't shown up (and it was a long post). I will respond tomorrow.

    Thanks

    The Forefoot Runner

  • velloo wrote (see)

    If people send in free content and photographs will they retain the copyright? 

    The vibram bubble has rather burst after it settled a lawsuit that alleged the company made false and unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of the five fingers.

     

    I will gladly include the authors name on any content published by external guests. I'm happy to give you a platform to voice your suggestions an stories as much as you allow me to voice mine!

    Content and pictures will include footnotes.

    Thanks

    The Forefoot Runner

  • literatin wrote (see)

    The thing that slightly grates with me on the website is the use of 'we' as in 'we need to learn how to run'. I and many other runners I know already land on the forefoot or midfoot and always have done. I recognise that your target audience is people who heel strike and would like to stop doing so, but a lot of runners, especially faster ones like Paula, don't heel strike and never have. Plenty of shoes have always been designed forefoot striking before barefoot shoes were even popular, too - look at where the spikes go on xc shoes for example; it's at the front, the bit you land on.

    Hi, 

    Thanks for the comments, I will look into the wording of the site and reword if necessary.

    Spikes are mainly for track surfaces and short speed distances. Its common that sprinting shoes are better designed because most professional sprinters forefoot run. Spikes just help with the grip, but yes they are designed for a forefoot run form (although usually very rigid).

    Plenty of shoes have perhaps been manufactured and designed for forefoot running, in fact Vibram has been going for 75 years. The difference being what I like to call the "Footwear Express Train" has taken us into the direction of laziness as it were. We've moved toward a social status of "develop our word to make our life easier". So our shoes have been developed to make running easier, more comfortable. The side effect (in my opinion)? Weakened legs prone to injury.

    Forefoot running is easier, but we have lost the ability as a whole to run like this. Therefore it is harder (because you have to develop it).

    Thanks

    The Forefoot Runner

  • Spikes are not just used for track by the way, cross country races can be over five miles long…roughly the distance you run in a week. (I've done a 30k cross country but it was more like a trail race) 

  • I'm not questioning the logic behind the running style, but it's unfortunate that that the bandwagon of expensive 'barefoot' running shoes has been followed by racing flats also getting more pricey.  You used to be able to find race shoes (which are minimalist shoes without the hype) for next to nothing.  Not any more, unless it's end of line stuff.

    I ran my 10k race at the weekend in a 10 year old pair of mayflys that cost me £25.  If nike made them now they'd charge 4 times the price for them and they'd still be cheaper (and better, in my view) than vibrams.

  • I am finding that most barefoot running shoes are too narrow for me across the forefoot. The rest of my foot, ie heel area is very narrow. Of course I guess Vibrams would fit me BUT I do prefer a bit more under my soles than they provide because most of my running is done on a stony trail. Also, to be honest i really don't care for the look of them. I know that shouldn't matter, but it does to me!



    To find a shop that had many minimalist shoes for ladies in large sizes would be a heavens delight for me. I end up being told to try men's shoes which may fit well across my fore foot but the rest of the shoe is like wearing a boat.



    I heartedly approve of barefoot running being promoted, especially for beginners, before they adopt heel striking from wearing built up running shoes. I think the transition from clumpy heavy built up heel shoes to barefoot running shoes should be done very, very gradually. I do know of several runners who have ended up with calf and Achilles problems from wearing minimalist shoes and that includes a sprinter who started to wear Vibrams.



    But of course injuries can occur due to bio-mechanical problems anywhere in the body not just from weak leg muscles.



    What shoes to wear is a huge subject. In what most if you would call the olden days, green flash Dunlops were worn for everything. Also, any running I did at school were done in black pull on gym shoes, thin fabric top with a very, very thin plastic sole. Yes, almost bare foot running, and extremely cheap footwear.
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