Mastering running: Do you really need to think about foot strike?

It’s one of the most hotly debated topics in running. Should your foot strike the ground heel first, flat footed, ball first, or toe first? There seems to be runners and ‘experts’ on all sides of this debate.

But the truth is, trying to consciously determine which part of your foot strikes the ground is a recipe for inefficient running and injury. It also looks weird. Wrong.

The far more important considerations are where your foot hits the ground relative to your hip, and how long it stays on the ground. Landing your foot vertically below your hip and sweeping it up and back quickly will allow your foot to strike in the most stable and efficient position. Your legs and feet should ‘spin’ below your hips.

Look at Mo Farah and his running rivals in this slow motion video.

Freely swinging hips, relaxed knees and ankles, and high cadence (revolutions per minute). That’s what we need. Foot strike will work itself out.

In part 3 of the running series, you’ll learn some simple exercises/drills to get your legs spinning like Road Runner, to get you running like Mo.

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