Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
Moderators: melkor

what comes first - toes or heel ... while running ??? Please help

Quote  |  Reply

I was walking/running (2nd week of learn to run again ) and this guy at the gym stops me ... and starts telling me how am not running right ... he says am landing on my heels ... and ideally I should be landing on my toes.(I think am not landing on either of them .. its more like the centre but inclined towards the heel).  And from then on he stood right next to me to monitor and I just couldn't land on my toes... (( plus he kept forcing me to increase my time from 2 minute to 10 minute... I kept telling him that I cant run for longer than 2 minute right now ... and am  working on that .. but he wouldn't stop telling me that for my age and weight I should be able to run for a mile easily and what I have is a mental block !!! Yell )) ... I think I hurt my ankle trying to land on my toes Cry... and now am confused ... Am I doing it wrong ??should I land on my toes ?? 

Thanks in advance 

12 Replies (last)

Well, in theory you're supposed to run on your toes as much as possible - heel striking is a product of wrong shoes and slows you down when you run. In practice landing on mid-foot is 'good enough' for the non-pro, and may be as close to good technique as your shoes will let you. One of the things you'd want to do is check out those shoes - there's good reason to suspect that shoes with too much heel and cushioning lend themselves to the wrong running style.

 Thing about any running program such as Couch25K or Learn 2 Run II - isn't that you couldn't go out and run more at any one time. But you couldn't do it injury-free; in my experience people tend to get hurt if they don't allow their bodies to develop conditioning through only gradually increasing running distance.


There are lots of different running techniques.  Landing heavily on your heels can be jarring to your knees, hips and back.  If you can stay more on the balls of your feet (the heavy pad right under your toes, not your actual toes), you get some extra cushioning from your ankles absorbing the impact.  It can be really awkward to run this way at first if you're not used to it.  And you won't win any marathons. Wink

Eh, I think you can just do whatever is comfortable for you.  I think it's generally better to run on your toes, but I read a book on running where the author talked about this and he said he usually ran on his heels despite that.  For me, it's more comfortable to run on my toes - otherwise I get shin splits.

That guy kind of sounds like a jerk. :P

Yeah! You know when you wear high heels and your toes and the pad behind your toes are the lowest, run on that part. As for him telling you how long you should be running, next time, punch him in the face :D

agreed.  the guy sounds like an ass.  he was probably hitting on you and is too into himself to realize how unattractive his behaviour is Laughing.

if you're coming down hard on your heels, it can be a problem (sounds like you're running on a track, which is much more cushioning that pavement; once you get outside, it could be an issue).  lifting your knees a little higher might help.  you might have to shorten your stride to get used to it.

Try to run on your toes as best you can.  Your calfs will absorb the pressure and keep it off your knees... if you can feel it in your calfs they you're doing it right... maybe try jump roping on your toes so you can figure out the little rhythm in the bounce on/off your toes.  Good running form also requires you to pump your arms... and that will help your legs keep going.  Knees high up when you step forward, and try to kick your butt when you foot is behind you ... and don't stop pumping your arms.  Good luck... and tell that guy to leave you alone... 

I am with everyone on the running thing.  As far as I am concerned though, unless they are an employee of the gym, or your trainer...then ignore them. Trainers push you (trust me I know) but that is because they know what they are doing.  Gym goers on the other hand do not know what is best for you so beware. rude of him! He started off a bit helpful, but I'm sure you could've done without the advice on running in regards to your age. I'm 21 and I can't run for 10 minutes either! I'm getting there, but not yet! I used to run track and I remember being told to run on my toes, its suppose to help you. But do what is comfortable for you to start off with. He's just a gym goer that wishes he was a personal trainer. Next time you see him run 'on your toes' as fast as you AWAY FROM HIM! Laughing Have a terrific day and best of luck with your goal!!

Awww .... I can't believe so many people replied so soon .. that is so sweet of you guys ... thank you ... I love CC Laughing


Melkor & Lysistrata - I'll change my shoes this week ... as I am jogging I do find it difficult to land on my toes.. but I guess with a little bit pf practice I'll get the hang of it.... 


Sashabee - I'll definitely keep the shin splits in mind and focus on running on my toes harder and yeah he did sound like a jerk Tongue out


Plum_seed - Thank you so much ... hopefully I will get hold of it soon ... and I have never punched anyone before... but then again there's always a first time for everything Wink


Pgeorgian, The1beautifulhelen, sthreadgill & msaidafall- I'll try lifting my knees higher..I do pump my arms so at-least I'm doing one thing right Smile.. thanks for your advise... and if thats is the way he hits on girls... heaven help him !! And yeah I will without a doubt stay away 


I'm not going to say running on your toes is bad thing.  Running on your HEELS is a bad thing.  I'm just going to say that every tri coach I have ever read / taken advice from has advised distance runners to employ a midfoot strike.  That's basically landing on the pad of the foot near the arch.  If you run on your toes for long periods of time (unlike sprinters who, well, sprint), you are probably going to inure yourself.  Here's an intersting article you can read up on....

Original Post by plum_seed:

. As for him telling you how long you should be running, next time, punch him in the face :D

I want to punch him in the face for you right now!!!!

12 Replies