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EVERYTHING I've read about others running style is beginning to make me curious. I run on my toes (not the very tips, but the ball of the foot hits the ground and my heels never touch) i just run natrally this way, and can't stand running "normally"; it feels weird....:shrug: maybe i'm just unique in my running style, but if anyone else runs like this, or if you know someone who does, please tell me....i'm just wondering

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"Forefoot" runners are not all that rare. I'm one myself. After 500 miles on a pair of shoes, the heels are barely worn, but under the balls of my feet, the shoes are absolutely smashed out. Running 'engineers' will tell you that 'forefoot' running is more efficient than 'heel' running. When you land on your heel first, there is actually a 'braking' effect, thus slowing your momentum to a very small degree. As always, just my 2-cents, but I would highly recommend you not change your form to try and heel-run. It's not the way to go if you are trying to become a faster runner. I'm sure you've heard of Bill "king of the roads" Rodgers, multiple Boston and New York City marathon champion. He's perhaps the best well known forefoot-runner. He long ago shrugged off the pundits that tried to convince him to become a heel-runner. Good thing for Bill. I've got to believe that efficient forefoot running of his got him to the finishline however much quicker and likely kept him in the lead and not behind somebody. :D
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Actually, my coach taught us to run that way because it's more efficient to land on the ball/forefoot to midfoot of your foot. That's the way I run, just fyi.
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I used to run 'normally,' but about a week ago I tried doing it on my toes. I think that it works better for running hard, but for long slow distance, or just fun runs, I still find it more comfortable to run 'normally.'
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Like jrjo, I am/was a forefoot runner and agree for most part wth his reply. However a lot of the young toe runners I see (older ones too) land on their toes because of a stiff anke (a dangling or lazy foot)
Forefoot running or toe running is not a bad thing, as jrjo mentioned, Bill Rodgers could run a bit. But if your half way serious about improving your running/speed I suggest you ask your coach to check your action and give you a drill that produces a more active foot strike.

I could possibly post something for you via the forums if you haven't a coach but it is far better to have an experienced eye watching and my previous reply's on drills and form have gone down like a lead ballon.
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thank you to everyone who replied....
i figured forefoot strikers were typically fast runners out of personal experinces.
i don't run on the balls of my feet because of foot problems, i learned to walk like that and now when i'm barefoot or running that's just what i do :shrug:
jrjo, that happens to me too with shoes, and even socks will be threadbare in the front, but barely worn in the back.
i'm not going to change my form, i've tried running on my heels when my foot muscles get sore.....but it always feels awkward, and i can't run fast that way
that's interesting about Bill Rodgers. I might have heard of him somewhere, the "king of all roads" part seems vaugely familiar. Right now, i'm doing a web search to read more about him.
does anybody else know any famous forefoot strikers?
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:wavey: toerunner here.

I have switched to a more neutral forefoot strike and I suspect that my natural toe run is/was due to Phar lap's theory (although, I am certainly not young). The forefoot strike is very stressful as I think that my ankle and whole foot is pronating more. My achilles is feeling this. I'm going to switch back to my old shoes that actually cause me to underpronate for awhile. It's nice to see the wear on my shoes exactly in mid/forefoot, but it's unbelieveable how moving my strike over one inch changes ALOT of things. As an underpronator, I used to get my thighs rubbing together on 20+ runs, I was hoping this would stop as it's a breaking motion....but now it's my knees rubbing.

If it's not one thing it's another :x
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wait....will not being a forefoot runner reduce my injuries? The muscles in the bottom of my feet amost always hurt after 4-5 miles of running. That's really frusterating, it's giving me a hard time on getting to ten easily. The muscles become tight and sore. Occasionally, my knees will hurt. I figured it had something to do with my forefoot striking.
Also, I'm training for my first race (excluding xc :( short distance running)
It's a half marathon and since it's my first "real" race, it means a lot to me. I don't want to be injured!!! Any help?

PS what is Phar lap's theory?
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It's hardly my theory youngrunner, but I'm flattered anyway.
The two things I've have found that can improve a runners performance apart from good solid training are :- Stride frequency and the effectiveness of each ground contact.
Improving cadence or your leg turnover, by decreasing the time the leg is off the ground.
A lot of toe runners have a minimal knee lift and a high heel lift recovery, in that, the foot hangs out the back of your body after ground contact.
To compensate for lack of knee drive especially in races or when under pressure, toe runners tend to push out more with an excessive rear-side running action.
This in turn leads to a slower leg turn over. It can load up your hamstrings which assist in the recovery action (injury)
The cause is more often than not is poor posture associated with a change in the position of the hips (anterior pelvic tilt) producing an increased lower back curve (a 'butt out' position)
Active foot strike: With my junior runners I always strees to them that it is important to recover the leg with the ankle in a strongly dorsiflexed position ( big toe pointed up at the shin bone) this does not mean you will come down on your heels, in comparision a 'dangling foot' can cause some braking and is much slower.
A dorsiflexed ankle will assist you striking the ground with with your foot underneath your body.
My experience has been that runners who fail to penis their ankles prior to ground contact are at greater risk of hamstring injury, additionally extra load is also placed on the shin muscles, bony structures of the foot that often promote lower leg injuries like shin splints (how often do you read about that problem in these coloums) and tibial strees fractures.
Drills, drills and more drills. Do your drills before you run
Put away your headphones and concentrate on getting your running right, you can't do justice to both at the same time.
Practice makes permanent (not always perfect)
I always look for a cyclic action where the runner strives to keep the big toe as close as possible to the shin (dorsiflexion), high hips and recovers the foot about the height of their opposite knee.
The action looks and feels like "stepping over long grass"
This cyclic recovery action should help you develop more power to your lower legs producing a fast foot strike.
Hoping this is of some help.
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i run with anormal stride and put mu heel down when doing long events like from 1500m and up but when doin 100m to 800m i use the forefoot stride to maintain speed
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