It is safe to say that running has a direct (massive) impact on your feet. If you don’t focus on proper foot strike, then you might end up landing on your heel - which is a big no! So, what can you do about it? Well, change your running form! Sounds like an easy job, but wait, you need a good amount of focus and understanding to change your foot strike. Also, changing your foot strike affects the entire biomechanical chain- your cadence, stride rate and much more. This means that changing running form can happen gradually. Now, why are we asking you to change your foot strike? The answer to this is to safeguard your legs from running injuries. If you land on your heels, then you are easily prone to an ankle sprain, knee pain, plantar fasciitis and various other lower leg injuries. But fret not, if you understand the midfoot strike and work on the proper landing of your foot then you can reap plenty of benefits from it. Added bonus, you never have to stop running! So let’s get into the details of the midfoot strike.
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What is a Midfoot Strike?
Generally, a runner knows very less about this section of the feet which is the main area for all the complications to arise. The human feet are divided into three separate parts, namely
- the heel foot
- the midfoot
- the forefoot
Midfoot strike is the way your foot lands on the ground. Why experts, pro runners suggest midfoot strike? Well, this technique will keep running injuries at bay, makes landing softer and reduce the stress on your body. How should one perform midfoot strike? It’s simple, when running, the foot arch must first hit the ground. This way, the impact is less on your foot tissues, knee and hip.
Ways To Find Your Exact Midfoot
It is essential to keep a note on finding out more about your midfoot strike so that you can have a smooth and hassle-free running experience. Even the shoe manufacturers around the world now give more emphasis on making and designing running shoes which would bring more comfort and space to the midfoot. Once you know the exact formation of your midfoot to be placed while running then in future there would be a much lesser tendency of how to transition from heel strike to the midfoot strike. The midfoot running drills really help the runners for training, and with some simple steps, it would be much easier to understand how to find your midfoot and keep a painless running session every day.
1. Stop Using The Shoes With Cushioned Bottom
First and foremost one has to stop using the new age cushioned and fashionable running shoes which you may use for the comfort of your feet. Most of the shoe manufacturers add the cushion helping to make a raise formation on the heel of these running shoes, making it much comfortable for any runner to smoothly run without any hassle. It is not only fixed for pro runners and athletes but even for the beginners, or joggers who have a daily regime of jogging to maintain a healthy and fit life.
After the addition of the cushion for the better grip of the midfoot strike, many more runners are now practising their regular running regimes. But now the doctors suggest to wear less cushioned shoes for running as sometimes too much cushion may be uncomfortable to get the grip on the ground, and many runners complain of muscle pain. Actually, they are much dangerous as it can retain your mid-foot strike. You can even opt for the latest trend- barefoot running and bring a change in your foot landing. It is believed that being barefoot is the best way to run, but if you find it hard to do then you can use some light running shoes. When you invest in a good pair of shoes, do check for these important features
- There should be no lifting from the toe to the heel region
- Less cushioning or rather no cushioning of the base
- A flexible sole should be added as an extra support
- Buy a bigger size so that your toes have enough space to spread and breath
2. Avoid Putting Pressure On Your Heel Strike
While running there is always a compulsion going on between the heel strike vs midfoot strike vs the forefoot strike as sometimes it is quite hard to recognize the difference in such a high-speed pace. Most of the people land on their heels, so it would be better if the heel strike is avoided as by giving more pressure on the midfoot your heel would be in lesser contact with the ground. Landing on the midfoot would give the pressure and the centre of gravity would help you to have a smooth foot landing making your running pace much faster and hassle-free. The best way is to run barefoot or with general running kicks for comfort, these applications become much smoother with the regular midfoot running drills.
3. Shorten Your Stride By Standing Straight While Running
Another very convenient way to find your midfoot is by avoiding slouching while running. Many people have a default habit to slouch while running which makes longer strides and this can be harmful for the midfoot functioning. So it would be better to keep the back straight, which would further help the chest to move straight and the main focus would be on the very footfall which would be directly under the center of gravity of your foot rather than the front foot landing with the forefoot running, as the forefoot vs midfoot the latter is the right way to get the hold on the ground, at such a fast pace.
This is another way of how should your feet hit the ground when running, as shortening your stride length you pace of cadence would be much hassle free and you would be able to resist the long over striding landing.
4. Relax While Running
Well if you are a regular runner then finding your midfoot with an exact position is a must. As most of the runners face the various foot problems, as they are much more ignorant regarding the midfoot strike which causes all the pain and suffering from the human feet. Very gracefully and in a much-relaxed manner, you can make the strides, as that would not only make your pace faster but would also bring poise gracefulness with a high-energy boosting while running. This relaxation mode of using the foot while running would always help you to be vigilant in knowing how to correct heel strike running. Many specialists believe that being a robot with stiff strides would make your foot and running both suffer a lot.
On the other hand, if you loosen up and have a much-relaxed shoulders, hands, neck, toes and your whole leg then the tension in the foot would just go away. This would further bring a better and faster stride while running. Medically it has been proved that any extra tension given on your muscles can easily wear out your energy, causing a lack of flexibleness and create sores on the foot. Always keep your feet active by bending your knees, shaking them as much as you can so that the stiffness is cured, letting your whole body muscles to carry your weight forward faster and lighter.
5. Listen To Your Body Not Your Mileage Goals
One of the midfoot running drills is to switch to a midfoot strike from a heel strike although it may seem to be difficult. Experienced runners who have a strong knowledge on the midfoot usage always prefer that in the long run, it is better to go for the midfoot form which is much easier for the joints. The joints and the spine of your body make your ankles stronger which further helps in on the pacing of the feet and your lower legs. Mostly for many general runners, this method would seem to be a big change in the running regime for the unused and static immobilize lower legs most of their life.
So to start on it is essential to go slow. Rather than focusing more on your mileage building, just prefer to listen more to your body which would help your pace to be faster and easy with comfort. Once you start listening to your body and focusing on your lower leg usage then slowly you can work on building up your mileage gradually mileage gradually, as that way it would bring a balance of both your body and mind and make your running regime smoother.
Using this technique you can not only be able of how to find your midfoot but also run faster. Start with barefoot running not more than one-eighth or one-fourth of a mile, and slowly increase the distance by each week to ten miles. This slow and steady way would always avoid your heel strike and put your midfoot strike in better usage. Long distance runners find this technique a hindrance in their path! As to put this technique in use they feel their mileage is being disrupted. But it is better to learn the easier technique which may seem tough, as that would help in using new ways of running and becoming better and faster runners. It is a true fact that each runner is different and distinct in their own running mode, but the smartest are those who pay simple yet specific attention to their body.
As if how their body is feeling while running, or how to avoid much foot injuries on a regular running regime. This slow and time pacing mindset of runner can bring their mileage to a higher level even without them realizing in a much shorter period of time, with healthy feet too. If ever you face a stress on your foot or a mild fracture being ignorant to your body calling then you cannot blame anyone rather than yourself, so be vigilant and always listen to your body.
6. Keep On Learning From The Best Masters
Now with the knowledge being spread of how to be finding your midfoot, you may find various tips and advice on many health sites and even seniors in your family and doctors too. So now it is much more finesse to know about your midfoot strike than to just throw away your trainer’s advice and doing the way you want taking all the various mixed and confusing pieces of advice. But always go back to the best masters and trainers who can guide you on a better running form, avoiding the heel strikes and focusing more on the midfoot strike while running.
Fortunately, now various guidebooks are available which are been written by the best trainers of running who have been athletes themselves. These rich in advice on the running form is in way precious wealth for any runner who would take the running strides seriously on a daily basis. You can easily use these trainer books as your tools in improving your running strides each day no matter whatever you prefer to wear on your feet.
If you have a personal trainer who can guide you on your running on a daily basis that would be a cherry on the cake, or else you can also follow regularly the instructional videos on YouTube which would help you to learn how should your feet hit the ground when running. These videos also help to know the correct way of how to correct heel strike while running. All these informational and very minimalist running blogs are like the bible to any runner to educate themselves on their cliché running strides at a better pace. You would even find some helpful barefoot and minimalist running coaches who are now available all over the country helping you in correcting the one on one form of running. If they cannot meet you personally they can do it through detailed emails which would have a thorough guide with various videos on running and the midfoot strike formation and knowledge.
Once you learn all the strides on the midfoot running strikes and avoiding the heel strike your daily running regime would be hassle-free, smooth and fast. It is said that one may learn from their daily experiences, and the same goes for running as each day you learn from the mistakes you make the previous days. So to start a fresh in a way of your running regime with the inclusion of all the distinct midfoot strike, you would notice a huge change in your running capability with the faster pace and relaxed body and muscles which would all help you to carry yourself smoother and in a much lighter and easier way.
Always keep in mind to listen to your body rather than focusing more on your higher mileage, or else not only the mileage would be low but your body would wear out energy quite easily without no time of just starting your running regime each day. Slow and steady wins the race, and with the help of the midfoot strike running shoes, you can keep a better pace and grip while running. Always be vigilant with your heel strike vs midfoot vs forefoot, with your focus on how to transition from heel strike to midfoot strike just by following the simple ways to know your midfoot strike and making it stronger each day with the new and enhanced running stride.