Running is very beneficial to your health. It gives your body strength, improves your mental health, increases cognitive functioning and can help give you a longer life. Although, if your running foundation is off, it can strain your joints and your feet, as well as other areas of your body.
Different Ways to Hit the Ground when Running
There are three ways your foot can hit the ground: with midfoot, forefoot, or the heel. Scientists have argued over which type is the best for your body, and a lot of evidence proves benefits for all types.
So that strikes the question, which it best?
Runner’s World says that a single-minded focus on one type of foot foundation is “likely misguided.” That is because different foot formations can work for various individuals depending on the conditions that they are running in, the equipment they are using and their body type.
For example, the heel-to-toe method is often seen as destructive to your feet because your heel makes a forceful impact in the ground, contrasting the forefoot method which allows your Achilles tendon to cushion some of the harsh impact, meaning the force is much more evenly dispersed. Though, the right shoes with cushioning in the heels can help the impact of a running motion, reducing the chance of injury.
How Should You Run?
Physical therapist Jay Dicharry states that “There’s more to it than just the footstrike. Just because you heelstrike doesn’t mean you have bad form.”
“I look at footstrike as more of an effect than a cause in running form,” Dicharry said, which makes a lot of sense if you think about it.
He points out that the problem is that most heel-hitting runners run with a very wide stride length, which may be a larger reason for strain on the body than the striking method.
One study from the journal Footwear Science, showed that the way your foot hits the ground is also more complicated than it sounds. Researchers looked at the foot-strike of trail runners, specifically by studying Kilian Jornet Burgada, one of the greatest trail runners in the modern day. What they found was that his footstrike was impeccably diverse. A researcher suggested that with mixing up the foot-to-ground landings, Burganda is able to adapt the stress level on the various muscles, decreasing injury and making for a more beneficial run.
By purchasing a good pair of running shoes and by shortening your stride you can help your run be as safe as possible. Do not be afraid to try out different footstrikes to see how you like each one. Finally, you should run based on how your body reacts to the impact. Talk with a physical therapist or coach to better your movements and find a running form that best fits your equipment and body.
Source: msn.com; The Effects of Running: On Your Feet by: Injinji