I've fielded several questions of late regarding running form. Lots of the questions stem from "my ___ (heel, knees, back, shoulders) hurt".
I want to address some key points on form.
Over the next several weeks (Tuesdays and Thursdays) we will address each part in detail, with a new topic each day, starting at the foot and working our way up
(*Note: The following information that will be posted are excerpts from my book "Second Wind: the running coach you never had but always needed")
You should land on your forefoot (think ball of your
foot) followed by your arch and then your heel
landing almost simultaneously after.
Many people(myself included for years) confuse landing on the
forefoot to mean landing on your toes and never
allowing your heel to touch the ground.
This is incorrect. This doesn’t allow your calf muscle
to ever relax (by never having your heel touch to
take the pressure off) which will put you in a world
of hurt (it’s not efficient due to relying too heavily on
your calves instead of your quads and hamstrings as
well as putting you at a much higher risk for shinsplints).
So again, land on the ball of your foot, and
then your arch (the mid-foot) and the heel will land a
split second afterwards.
For some people, it is easier to think of this process
as landing flat (but try to think of your forefoot
landing even a thousandth of a second earlier than
the rest of your foot).
Do not, under any circumstances, land directly on
To feel this proper form in action, take your socks and shoes
off and tip-toe (like you're sneaking through your house).
Where/how does your foot land? You land on the outside ball of
your foot (think just behind where your pinky-toe starts)
and roll in, and down to flat. That is your perfect foot strike!