In the March issue of RW Medical & Training Advice the headline reads
"Heel, Toe! Heel, Toe! Brian Ware DPM of the Am Academy of Podiatric
Sports Medicine and a 2:40 marathoner says that "In the perfect running
gait, the foot strikes on the lateral (or outer) side of the heel; then
the body's weight gradually moves through the arch, until finally the
runner "toes off" from the big toe. But rather than worry about
developing a perfect running gait, I'd suggest going with what feels the
most comfortable over a long training run.
A former track runner in college who was a toe striker and in road running
switched to heel-striker and asks does going back to track racing mean
practicing landing on the balls of her feet during training runs on the
Toe running on the roads the doctor says can actually lead to overuse
injuries such as plantar fascitis, Achilles tendinitis, meuromas and other
An Oz perspective:
First the imagery is of a runner lightly touching the surface of the earth
so as not to strike the surface. The reason being that the only thing
that gives when heel striking when running on hard surfaces is the body,
especially the lower extremities which cause many foot ailments...even
when the strike is masked by shoes which are meant for heel strikers.
Just march in place to see how the foot normally touches down. It's ball
then heel. The problem is that we run the way we walk, and we walk with
our upper torso slightly bent back from the center of gravity to the top
of our head...afraid of falling...because it hurts so much.
It is an observable truth, that if you ask how someone will fall when they
slip on a banana peel, it is always the leg slips forward and the person
comes crashing down on their ***and back.
That can only take place if the upper body is not balanced and leaning
If the body is aligned above the foot stepping on the banana peel, nothing
Anyway just a thought hidden away in a corner of the electronic space
called rec.running. Just a small fish hook for critical thinking.
Anyway, thank god for running and opportunities to be mindful, playful and
just being while doing running.
In health and on the run,
Director, San Diego Marathon Clinic, est. 1975