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I can't run heel-toe. Is it bad to run flat-footed?? When I try to run heel toe, my shins & calf muscles hurt! Help, I have a triathlon coming up in June, and I want to be able to run the 2 miles!
 

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You don't have to run heel-toe, perhaps you naturally strike mid-foot, or are a toe runner and are striking mid-foot because you think you should run heel-toe. Why do you think you should run heel-toe? I am not an expert, but I think that trying to change your footstrike to meet some standard when it is clearly painful and unnatural to you, isn't a good idea. I don't have a heel-toe footstrike either. It doesn't bother me.
 

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You're fine, heel striking is not a good way to run. Mid to forefoot is best.<br><br>
A lot of folks think that because you heel strike when you walk, it's the same for running - not true, they're totally different actions.
 

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Many people spend a lot of time trying to shift from a heel landing to a mid-foot landing. You are already there. Congrats!<br><br>
Victor
 

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Why would you <i>want</i> to run heel-toe? Heel striking is a great contributor to injury as your sore legs can attest. If you are already landing on your mid-foot you are where you want to be. That allows your feet to absorb some of the shock by pronating or rolling in when you land. Heel striking just sends it up your legs.<br><br>
Tom
 

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landing on your heel is also inefficient, it's like putting on the brake every time you take a step. <b>Tom</b> is right though, we had a PT guy give a talk to our running club. He demonstrated why it was bad to land heel first. The shock reverberates back up your leg, and is bad for your knee.
 

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congrats, you are the 10% that the other 90% would like to be. Now if more people can convert to your style, they might make more shoes for us. (shoes are made for heel strikers, else why all the padding in the heel)
 

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Don't assume that what feels "natural and comfortable" is correct. You might be surprised at how much your running would improve with a few minor changes in your form.<br><br>
Tom
 

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Maybe. Or maybe I'd hurt myself.<br>
Regardless, I'm a fun-runner not a performance-runner and like my 9 year running history with very few injuries. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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When I was in a running club with a coach, the coach helped me to learn ball heal running because I was getting injured all the time doing the heal ball running. It became really obvious that heal stricking was just wrong. My balance is behind my butt and I have to pull myself forward rather than pushing off. It makes running much more comfortable and much smoother since I am not bouncing down the road. Now it hurts just to think about it.<br><br>
Larry
 

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I just wanted to point out that heal-striking isn't necessarily bad. It can be bad, but many people run fast and remain injury free running heal-toe. It is very difficult to change, and it is far less likely to cause problems to remain a heal-toe runner than trying to force a midfoot landing or a toe landing (both of which have their own downsides).
 

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I agree. However, you never have anyone trying to convert a forefoot runner into becoming a heel striker, even when the injuries of toe running surface (hallux rigidus, hammertoe, etc). When a heel striker has multiple injuries from the breaking motion, they are usually guided to think about their form. You don't actually force it, you practice it. Most people's turnover is way too slow. It took my dh only 3 years to convert. As a toerunner it took me 25 years before trauma to my toes surfaced and even then it was determined that I'm better off running less than 60 mpw and dealing with discomfort than trying to convert to midfoot...heel wasn't even a thought<br><br>
When you do striders at the end of a run, you aren't necessarily doing them for speed, you are concentrating on turnover and getting one foot to 90 per minute. Just like swimming, you practice a drill and then hopefully, it comes into your actually swimming. If a swim coach saw you pulling your arm back too far, you can be certain you will be drilling fingertips at every practice. If your turnover rate is less than 180, you drill. Or you can keep doing it wrong and the swimmer starts complaining about their shoulder and the runner complains about their knees
 

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I agree. However, you never have anyone trying to convert a forefoot runner into becoming a heel striker, even when the injuries of toe running surface (hallux rigidus, hammertoe, etc). When a heel striker has multiple injuries from the breaking motion, they are usually guided to think about their form. You don't actually force it, you practice it. Most people's turnover is way too slow. It took my dh only 3 years to convert. As a toerunner it took me 25 years before trauma to my toes surfaced and even then it was determined that I'm better off running less than 60 mpw and dealing with discomfort than trying to convert to midfoot...heel wasn't even a thought<br><br>
When you do striders at the end of a run, you aren't necessarily doing them for speed, you are concentrating on turnover and getting one foot to 90 per minute. Just like swimming, you practice a drill and then hopefully, it comes into your actually swimming. If a swim coach saw you pulling your arm back too far, you can be certain you will be drilling fingertips at every practice. If your turnover rate is less than 180, you drill. Or you can keep doing it wrong and the swimmer starts complaining about their shoulder and the runner complains about their knees
 
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