When running, is landing from heel to toe the proper technique?
Phase 1: Impact
The foot strikes the ground forefoot first. This allows the calf muscles and
tendons to absorb some of the energy of impact. By landing forefoot first
you avoid having to 'rock' your weight over your heel, which takes time.
Phase 2: Drive
Briefly, the heel touches down. This gives a solid connection to the ground
against which the leg (thigh and above) muscles can push.
Phase 3: Toe Off
To provide a further push, the calf muscles contract. This contraction
points the foot, bringing the heel off the floor again.
The article also commented that the smaller (and thus shorter) phase 1 was,
the faster the running action would be. This went right down to landing
[almost] flat-footed, provided that the runner's weight at impact was over
the ball of the foot, and not the heel.
Isn't it a good job that we don't have to think about all this every time
one of our feet touches the ground?
1. Heel & toe