Helen Clare trail running practicing natural running technique and running form

Best Running Footstrike

Today we’re looking at the best running foot strike to help you run injury free and more efficiently.

It’s not surprising that so many runners foot strike heel first, with…

So many magazines (unknowingly?) displaying bad running form, lifestyle habits and poor posture & over padded shoes.

But this is not how we would run naturally!

So, how should our foot land when we run, what can we do to practice & why is it so important?!

In today’s video I talk about how we all would naturally run, if we hadn’t accumulated bad lifestyle habits, the negative effect of heel striking and how we should be landing instead.

I share an interesting little running drill for you to try – let me know when you do by writing to me in the comments below 🙂

Happy running,

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Best Running Footstrike Transcription

With so many magazines displaying bad running form, it’s not surprising that many runners are heel striking – but this is not how we would run naturally! 

So how should our foot land when we run? What can we do to practice? And why is it so important?! Let’s find out.

Hi, I’m HC, this is the RBY show, helping you to run injury-free and move with more ease and joy.

Where and how our foot lands as we run massively affects the efficiency of our running – basically determining how easy or hard it is.

If you watch active children or Kalahari bushman, you’ll see them landing on their mid-foot, underneath their body. They run naturally because they haven’t had a life time of wearing over supportive, or high heeled shoes and sitting in chairs. Or all those things that might make our lives more comfortable but mess up the natural bio mechanics of the body.

If we over-stride and land on the heel, the impact is higher and reverberates up the leg, through the joints and into the spine. It’s also like applying the brakes, it slows down the cadence and exerts much more effort.

Instead, if we keep great posture, think about lifting our heels behind and allow the foot to land on the mid-foot close underneath the body, we can keep our core and glute connection, our alignment and have a nice speedy cadence – all with the least amount of impact.

So Try this:
Run on the spot, by lifting your heels – notice what part of the foot you land on – it should be the front half of your foot. Not the toes.

Now start moving forward, exaggeratedly scuffing your feet underneath you. You don’t want to see your feet at all.

Then ease off on the scuffing but still see if you can keep the feet under the body as you go.

It can take a bit of practice if this is different for you, and it’s worth taking your time to practice regularly, starting to take it into your running some of the time, before you transition completely.

If you want to practise this, and much more, with me in person, then join us on the RBY Retreat this July in Bath, UK. I’m going to be sharing my integrated approach to running and yoga that gives you the optimal strength, mobility, flexibility and awareness for the most natural efficient, injury-free, running. Find out everything at runbetterwithyoga.com/retreat.

Try the drill, and let me know how you get on! Join our RBY Community group on facebook, or leave me your thoughts, comments and questions on the blog at runbetterwithyoga.com. You’ll find all the links in the show notes. If you want some personal feedback, find us on social and tag me at @runbetterwithyoga in a video of you doing the drill, and I’ll give you some tips!

Here’s to running with ease and joy – I’ll see you next time.

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Helen Clare

Helen Clare, founder of Helen Clare Yoga and Run Better with Yoga, is a trail runner, senior yoga teacher and yoga for athletes coach, living in Cornwall, UK.

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