T Nation

Do You Run on the Balls of Your Feet?

Just curious here…I usually run heal to toe, but had heard about some method that kept you more on the balls of your feet. I tried it, and actually my foot fall was much lighter, and I enjoyed it…Usually the whole treadmill shakes violently when I run because my footfall is so heavy, but this was much better.

But then for 4 days after I couldn’t run, and could barely walk because my calves were destroyed. Is this something you get used to? Anyone else run like this?

I usually run on my balls.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
I usually run on my balls.[/quote]

ouch.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
I usually run on my balls.[/quote]

That’s pretty ballsy.

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
Just curious here…I usually run heal to toe, but had heard about some method that kept you more on the balls of your feet. I tried it, and actually my foot fall was much lighter, and I enjoyed it…Usually the whole treadmill shakes violently when I run because my footfall is so heavy, but this was much better.

But then for 4 days after I couldn’t run, and could barely walk because my calves were destroyed. Is this something you get used to? Anyone else run like this? [/quote]

It’s just like, fact it is DOMS. It will go away and your calfs will become more defined as well. WIN, WIN!

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
Just curious here…I usually run heal to toe, but had heard about some method that kept you more on the balls of your feet. I tried it, and actually my foot fall was much lighter, and I enjoyed it…Usually the whole treadmill shakes violently when I run because my footfall is so heavy, but this was much better.

But then for 4 days after I couldn’t run, and could barely walk because my calves were destroyed. Is this something you get used to? Anyone else run like this? [/quote]

Yes, and many sprinters do too, I believe.

I ran some sprints tonight. I was up on the balls of my feet, it’s feels oh so good. My calves will also be destroyed tomorrow.

[quote]boyscout wrote:
I ran some sprints tonight. I was up on the balls of my feet, it’s feels oh so good. My calfs will also be destroyed tomorrow. [/quote]

I run sprints on the balls of my feet. That’s correct form from everything I’ve read. I used to do sprints and ran heel to toe. Not a pleasant feeling…and I was slower.

I do get a good calf workout from it though.

I run on the balls of my feet but I’ve never felt any pain in my calves. Only my shins when I had some shin splint troubles.

I used to be marathon runner a few years ago…definitely ran on the balls of my feet.

Good shoes are important too.

Calfs?

[quote]Makavali wrote:
Calfs?[/quote]

(Sigh) Calves.

Thank you for pointing out my grammatical inadequacies.

[quote]anthropocentric wrote:

Good shoes are important too.[/quote]

This is something I’m curious about. Is it worth it to buy a pair of shoes just for running? Brands? What’s the difference?

[quote]boyscout wrote:
anthropocentric wrote:

Good shoes are important too.

This is something I’m curious about. Is it worth it to buy a pair of shoes just for running? Brands? What’s the difference?

[/quote]

For sprints, a few on these forums recommended that I get a good pair or track flats. I ended up getting a pair of Brooks. Since I got them, I noticed that my feet felt better after my sprint workouts and it actually helped my form a bit too.

I used to get horrible shin splints and I would get numbness in my toes when I had nikes. I got some asics and it went away. Before the Nikes I just had cheap sneakers and had some knee problems. I think everybody has different shoes that work for them, depending on gait and pronation.

Running on the balls of the feet is absolutely the correct thing to do. I’ve been training athletes for more than 6 years and this is the first things that we go over, as it is on of the biggest misconceptions in sport/fitness mechanics.

If you are running distance, or even sub-maximal sprints for that matter, a heel strike comes natural only because you’re wearing cushioned shoes. Watch any of the champion marathon runners, especially the ones that go barefoot. The heel never strikes the ground. (in fact, I encourage anyone to go run barefoot, even if it’s just through the house. Heel strikes aren’t fun.)

It’s easier on the structure and for performance purposes, way faster. when the heel strikes the lower leg is at a negative angle (heel in front of knee at the point of contact) causing a braking/stopping force that slows the individual down until the ball of the foot gets under the hip. At that point, the individual must then re-accelerate through the push off.

When the ball of the foot strikes first, it is generally with a positive shin angle (pointing down and back, with the knee in front of the heel). This takes away the unnecessary ground contact time and braking forces.
This technique is more efficient, faster, and better for the human structure.

Like I always tell the athletes… If your heels are hitting the ground, you’re stopping.

Also try sprinting bare foot. It actually feels really good.

Edit: oh you just said that. Well, not that it feels good though.

By the way, you’re calves will get used to it.

Plus, most people that convert to this way rarely ever have shin splint type pain again because it gets rid of the hard eccentric that happens when the heel strikes first.

I always run on my heels. Big slapping noises when I’m running on asphalt.

I never thought I was wrong.

In hindsight I remember racing somebody on a field once barefoot. I remember being amazed at how fast I was running (Since I was barefoot I was running on the balls). Never made the connection unfortunately.

I’ll try running sprints barefoot from now on.

Run however you feel best. There is a big internet push for the POSE method being the greatest thing but it just reminds me of the kettlebell fad.

When I sprint I run on the balls of my feet, for distance I am a mid foot striker. When I am tired I tend to heel strike.

There is no one style that is good for everyone.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2007/10/pose-running-reduces-running-economythe.html

http://www.fitnesswithjoe.com/pose/articles/RW_oct_04.htm

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1608/is_9_19/ai_106652958

http://www.posetech.com/