Changing Running Technique

3 messages
22/04/2012 at 22:19

I'd imagine that most beginner runners, like me, heel strike first.

Whats the best way of going about converting yourself to a fore foot strike? barefoot, racing shoes?.

23/04/2012 at 13:40

Realise that, by starting a thread on this, you are opening a massive can of worms... There's little consensus, hence the various techniques such as POSE / Chi etc all disagreeing on some points.

If you adapt to FF strike, realise that the adaptation takes longer for some people. Some people seem to be able to change over in a few months, others get injured. The 10% rule cannot be breached if you change over - i.e. never increase running load by more than 10% in consecutive weeks.

Some common traits which Pose / Chi and Pirie all agree on:

NEVER let your cadence go below 180 strikes p/minute. Elite runners typically are above 190 (and this is relevant to mere mortals, since elites have the largest training loads). Get a metronome if necessary. 

If your Sunday run is currently say, 10 miles, when you change over, go down - literally - to 3 miles and build up by 10% p/week. Injury can strike without warning - often when you feel invincible. Be patient and cross-train if you need more cardio. 

Calf strengthening is a good move (calf lifts with dumbells). Foot strengthening (Google 'foot gymnastics') is also a good move, as your metatarsals / extensors will not be used to doing so much work. 

Whilst I'm not an advocate of one strict discipline, make sure to regularly do drills. Pose drills are useful, as is high-knees, butt kicks etc. 

Changing your gait is the biggest single change a runner can ever make. I'd advise taking advice from anyone who says otherwise with a pinch of salt. 

Make sure to Google for Gordon Pirie's free book: 'running fast and injury free'. It's a few yrs old, but I've yet to find a mistruth in it... He didn't have the science we have today, but his empirical evidence / experience is difficult, if not impossible to disagree with. 

Edited: 23/04/2012 at 13:42
24/04/2012 at 16:42

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