I have been working on shifting from heel strike to forefoot for the last 4 weeks and find it a hard work. I do it under supervision of coach from The Running School, currently do a walk/ run programme running around 3.5-4 miles tops although we go by time rather than mileage. If you managed to transfer to forefoot running successfully I would be grateful for all advice or thoughts on this subject.
I made the transition from heel striking last year, I'd only been running a couple of months when I did it though so I didn't have years of heel striking behind me. I did it very gradually, the first 5 minutes of every run, then the next week the first 8 minutes, the week after that the first 12 minutes and so on. It felt very odd at first and my calves didn't like it one bit. I reckon it took around 6-8 months for me to feel totally comfortable with it but once it does you'll never look back.
Flatter shoes help (I run in Saucony Kinvaras). Stick with it, you'll be glad you did.
I have done it. Basically wot RI2 says.
I did a lot of calf raises, flatter shoes, patience.
I started by running lots of hilly runs and doing all the climbs on my toes. Even now I still switch to heel-strike on steep decent as it is far more efficient and less destructive for that sort of thing.
Good luck Simon.
3.5 - 4 miles might be a little bit on the long side at first.
I'm coming at this from the viewpoint of someone who changed from conventional shoes to minimal shoes and barefoot, so it may be a little different if you still have some padding underfoot.
When I made the transition, I cut down from my normal distance of around 5 -7 miles to about 3 miles, but this wasn't a big enough reduction. I wrecked my calf muscles, tried to run on regardless, and then developed shin splints as a knock-on effect.
I subsequently read that you should start by running a mile or less, then build up very gradually. It's almost like being a brand new runner again - you have to start from scratch and re-learn the skill in a new way. Once I'd recovered from my injuries I did just that - and I've never looked back.
Good luck with making the transition - it's not easy but it will be worth it in the end!
Sorry to hear about the sore heel, acdcgirl - and good to know it's feeling better today. You've done the right thing in listening to your body and taking things slowly.
As runners, we all love to challenge ourselves and sometimes we push through pain when we shouldn't - I still do it, even though I've learned the hard way!! The key should always be 'if it hurts, stop'. Don't be a hero - it's better to walk home and rest rather than risk a serious injury that will put you off the road for longer.
Good luck for Thursday's session.
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