Using the best anti heel strike techniques to stop your foot strike from ruining your running form
Remember the last time you dropped a glass on the floor? The way it hit the floor, the area of the glass that made impact and the damage it caused?
Every bone in our body, main muscle, tendon, cartridge and ligament… they all have a certain degree of fragility. And if we don’t look after them, they could end up like our smashed glass above.
When it comes to foot strikes, the way your foot lands will depend on the potential damage caused. But obviously, we all know damage is bad; joint pain, muscular strains and mobility issues are always worth avoiding. But what are you really missing out on if we don’t maintain a healthy form?
Some run for pleasure, releasing endorphins and clearing the mind. Others run because of insecurities; worries that have plagued their lives since day one. In any case, running is clearly important. So why wouldn’t you want what’s best for the very thing that allows you to do it?
Let’s break down the essentials of foot strike movements, and reduce the potential pain, injury, and game-changing debilitation of poor running form.
Foot strike can be defined as the way in which your foot lands on a surface during motion. Simple. But what you might not have figured out is that there are actually three types of foot strike –
- Heel Strike – Occurs when a runner lands on the heel first; this is the least effective foot strike – (you naughty heel striker you!)
- Midfoot Strike – Occurs when a runner lands on the middle portion, or the ball, of their foot; in most cases, this is the most effective foot strike
- Forefoot Strike – Occurs when the runner lands on the top portion of their foot first, near the toes; this is not very common, but incredibly ineffective
Yeah, let’s gid rid of those
In most cases, when there’s an issue, there’s a remedy. But when it comes to foot strikes, even elite runners may be in the dark. Running foot strikes need to be tended to BUT… in the right ways for you. Let’s break down some potential fixes here.
This show-starting movement is easy but powerful. It’ll help optimise how your foot hits the ground (lamen – make foot land flat) with ease.
Try this one – moving laterally, cross one foot in front of the other, and then bring the other foot around behind; continue moving sideways alternating crossing in front and behind the grounded foot
Another classic, it almost feels ancient – high knees are simple. Run on the spot, bring your knees up to your waist and then bring them back down (land your feet flat… obviously).
Bringing the knees up to your chest once more, all you need to do here is skip forward. Again, this will help you to target a mid-foot strike, leaving those heel strikers off the pitch.
There you have it, getting your foot in the door to go toe-to-toe with ‘heeling’ your foot strike problems. So, before I fit another pun in, let’s round this one off.
Why is my Achilles tendon important?
This tendon connects your heel to your foot and does much more in the way of mobility. Look after it.