How to develop a front-foot running style May 31 2016, 0 Comments
We maintain that landing on the front foot is the natural, shock-absorbing style of running, so it might be helpful to know a few tips on how to make the switch from whatever you are doing now.
Now jump repeatedly up and down on the spot. If you are doing this right, you will spring off from your toes and your feet will stay relaxed with the toes pointing down while you are airborne. When you land, the ball of the foot will hit first, and then your feet and calves will absorb the impact of the landing so that the heels touch down lightly if at all. This is the motion that we want to replicate as you run.Firstly, as it is supposed to be a core element of barefoot running, start somewhere where you can get rid of the shoes. An open area inside or out that is free from potentially foot-damaging detritus. If you do wear shoes, find some whose sole has the lowest heel in your collection. It's more difficult to land on the front foot when there is an extra couple of centimetres under the heel.
Now start running on the spot, using the same basic motion but one foot at a time. This means that your knees are coming up in front of your body, rather than kicking your heels out behind you, and your feet are moving up and down vertically. Again, they will relax into a downward-pointing position while you are airborne, and the ball of your foot will be the first to touch as you come down. Again, you will feel your feet and calves working to absorb the impact, only more so now as all of your weight is on one foot instead of two.
Finally, continue running on the spot and then lean forwards slightly from the ankles to move forwards. Your stride will be shorter than it is if you habitually heel-strike, but you can compensate for this by upping the step frequency.
One more thing. Unless you want to run actually barefoot, get some barefoot running shoes. As your feet will work harder, you might want to transition with a pair of low-rise shoes where the difference in height between the ball and the heel of the sole is much smaller than your current trainers. Or you can simply take the plunge and get some barefoot shoes, in which case it is best to ease yourself in gently. As we are inching into June now, our summer range is ready to go. We recommend that you have a look at the Terra for all sorts of running, including trails where it offers extra protection, the 360 for running on smooth surfaces and the Oxygen 2 for indoor and water-sport use.
Wishing you good running!