Is there a dark side to changing running technique? Changing from heel strike to mid foot may create some unforeseen problems.
There are a number of authors who have recommended a mid foot running technique. There a number of authors who have advised against this type of change. Whom should you believe?
Many of us begin running based on informal training, as we accommodate to what we do naturally. Sure, methods such as Zen focus on more mid foot and a different type of gait with shoes on, while others insist we should all be running barefoot. Is there really one way to run or perhaps, certain body types gravitate to one style naturally based on their body mechanics. Then again, when running with shoes off, most of us are more mid foot strikers, probably because of the way we sense the ground as well as the fact that most shoes have an elevated heel.
Check out this article on why you should not change the way you run. The author makes some good points.
Changing running technique could cause more harm than good
by David Stacey
Changing your running technique from a heel strike (landing on your heel first) to a forefoot strike (landing on the ball of your foot first) might not offer the performance and injury avoidance benefits that running blogs would have you believe.
Research conducted within The University of Western Australia’s School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health suggests doing so may actually have adverse repercussions.
According to a study recently published in Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, those with a natural rearfoot strike had to produce nearly 20 per cent more work in their legs after changing to the unfamiliar forefoot strike technique. Furthermore, the risk of injury to the ankle and hip significantly increased when running technique was changed to the unfamiliar forefoot strike.
The research findings led the article’s lead author, Sarah Stearne, to conclude: “If you are a rearfoot strike runner (which 75 per cent of people are) stick to what you know. Changing to a forefoot strike technique could increase your chance of injury and will most likely slow you down.”