Should I try to run on my toes?

The Physio Clinic Bristol will be writing regular columns for DB Max throughout the 2017 and 2018 event season, in their first column we discuss whether you should run on your toes.

2017 is rapidly coming to a close but it’s all systems go here at The Physio Clinic Bristol.  This is now our 5th year supporting DB Max providing sports massage at several of their events and we are delighted to be working with them again in 2018 on even more events.  Next year’s schedule looks bigger and better than ever and it’s great to be part of the support team.

For those who don’t know, we are a private physiotherapy practice in North Bristol.  Established in 2007 we are a multi room, multi practitioner clinic with a special interest in sports injuries, movement analysis and exercise rehabilitation.  Our services range from assessment and diagnosis of injury, sports massage, strength and conditioning programming, to running analysis and rehabilitation.

Should I try to run on my toes?

Over the years we’ve worked with hundreds of runners and one of the main questions we get asked is should I try to run on my toes?  Forefoot running, toe running or barefoot running, whatever you want to call it are all terms we read a lot about and the general consensus seems to lean towards a mid to forefoot running technique as ‘more desirable’.   As conscious beings we can easily choose what part of our foot we land on be it our heel, mid foot or toe – don’t believe me – just try it!  I personally feel that the question about what part of the foot you should land on is the wrong question!  The more important question should be where should my foot land?

Just because we land on a different part of the foot doesn’t mean it changes things for the better elsewhere in the bio-mechanical chain.  If you are over striding when you land on your heel, just because you now choose to land on your toe doesn’t necessarily stop you from over striding.  What part of your foot you land on really isn’t too important (although as your speed increases you will naturally move towards a mid to forefoot tendency).  What I’m trying to say is that it’s more important where your foot lands and to work on landing your foot underneath you not over striding out in front.

Why is this important you ask? Well foot placement is one factor in helping us to reduce our ground contact time and increase our cadence and therefore our speed and who doesn’t want to shave a few seconds or minutes of their PB!’

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