Exercise! - Runners, balls of feet or heels?

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Shannon in ATL
10-29-2009, 05:51 PM
Hey runners! I've been reading a lot lately about stride and have seen conflicting recommendations. Some say strike on the balls of your feet, some say heels. I tried the balls of my feet on my run last night and noticed that my heart rate stayed higher consistently during the run. My knees feel okay, and my calves actually feel better than normal the day after a long run.

I know I wasn't hitting with the balls of my feet the entire time, but I'm pretty sure I did it for at least 2/3 of the run.

So, what do you guys do and why?

10-29-2009, 05:55 PM
When I was in knee PT, they had me run and watched. I had been running striking on balls of my feet, and they told me to go to striking on the heel. For me, it reduces knee pain associated with running, so I try to run that way consistently.

10-29-2009, 06:06 PM
the running shoes we all buy into cause us to heel strike, and that is therefore what feels natural and seems correct... HOWEVER, if you remove your shoes and run barefoot, you really DO want to strike with the ball of your foot, and then roll out to heel. If you watch videos of great marathoners running, they *usually* do not heel strike, but not always.

10-29-2009, 08:26 PM
I'm not a runner but a friend of mine is a marathon runner and she told me that it was important to strike on the heel because it helps you to NOT bounce when you're running which is important for distance running and running form in general.

Fat Pants
10-29-2009, 10:12 PM
Is it weird that I don't know what I do?? lol... I say go with whatever makes you feel the best. Or whichever is natural! ;)

Shannon in ATL
10-30-2009, 12:41 PM
It feels natural to hit with my heel, because I walk the same way. My dad used to try to get me to walk where I hit on the balls of my feet first when I was a child because I walked really loud and mom worked third shift. Never stuck - I still walk really loudly on the heels. :)

It did feel kind of good on the balls of my feet Wednesday night, but I notice my knees are a little twingy today. I'm going to experiment some over the next week and see what happens.


10-30-2009, 12:44 PM
I strike with my heels unless I am sprinting. When I sprint, I am on my toes and fly like a gazelle!!! ....okay, a slow gazelle, but I feel gazelle like!

Shannon in ATL
11-01-2009, 04:13 PM
Midwife - I tried on the balls of the feet again today and it did make me feel much faster than I was actually going! I like the gazelle image. :)