Nov 23, 2009
You can spend all day reading about different styles of running. The literature generally falls into two camps. Either you are a heel striker meaning you first land on your heel then role off the toe or you are a chi/pose runner meaning you land on your mid-foot. Many will argue the pros and cons of both. Landing on your heels creates more breaking and impact forces to be transferred up your knee and into your hips. Landing on your mid-foot with your foot more directly beneath puts more stress on the bones of the foot and ankle and creates more vertical movement in your stride.
Which is correct? Who cares? Try both. Running is more than just a journey across the pavement. We all have a lot to learn about our best running form. Running is also a journey of personal experience and growth. Get to know your own body and try both techniques. Learn what both feel like. Run a mile one way then switch to the other. If you are considering changing running styles altogether you’ll have to do this anyways, building up new strengths over time. You may find that spending a little time landing on your mid foot as opposed to rolling from heels to toe will give you insight into your dominate stride style and vice versa.
Whichever style you choose, know that both styles will benefit from effective arm action, a strong core and hip stabilization. Exercises like Standing Arm Action, Hip Abductions and Hip Extensions will promote these qualities.