Skip navigation

15819 Views 52 Replies Latest reply: Jun 24, 2010 4:30 PM by rolyone Go to original post 1 2 3 4 Previous Next
  • dfitz* Legend 612 posts since
    Aug 20, 2008

    Len, agreed. It was a discussion a few months ago in which you said something like "Even Chi Running would agree it's possible to heel-strike while landing midfoot" to which I had disagreed, but I see you are simply pointing out it's possible. The point I am trying to make is this: The ChiRunning approach is getting more popular, and more of your participants here are attempting to follow its philosophy. (Three or four years ago, very few had heard of it.)  And a fundamental part of ChiRunning is that if your heel is taking the bulk of the impact, you're doing ChiRunning wrong. We don't care that it's possible to heel-strike with your foot landing directly under your c-o-g. It's still wrong for us.


    I'm not asking you to agree with ChiRunning -- I'm only trying to explain this fundamental difference. When you say in a response that that there's really nothing wrong with heel-striking and the poster indicates that he/she is following the ChiRunning approach, you need to know that you're contradicting a fundamental part of his/her learning, which could be pretty confusing for them. ChiRunning is a completely legitimate approach that has helped many people to run with less effort and fewer injuries.  I realize you can't know whether someone is practicing ChiRunning or not, unless they tell you. But if they DO say they are trying to be a ChiRunner, please understand that they're operating under a different set of rules on proper foot-strike.


    Yes, we ChiRunners can get a little overzealous and judgmental when we think we're seeing poor form, when it might simply be different form. We need to get over that. (90% of runners don't suck at running -- but I understand the OP's aversion to "heel-first" form. I took this post to be tongue-in-cheek!)  So -- to all my fellow ChiRunners out there: Hooray, keep it up -- but let's recognize that others have been successful doing something that we've been told never to do. Likewise, we ask non-ChiRunners to respect the philosophy that we're trying to live by, and to understand that, by definition, we're either ChiRunners or heel-strikers; we can't be both.


    Thanks, as always!

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    Again, I'll guarantee I didn't say "Even Chi Running would agree it's possible to heel-strike while landing midfoot".  What I said was "You can heel-strike and still plant your foot appropriately under your center of gravity.  Even ChiRunning would agree with that (reluctantly, maybe)."


    I understand many of the principals of ChiRunning.  I read the book several years ago - most of it anyway.  No offense, but if a ChiRunner is that confused by a statement that heel-striking is not inherently bad, then maybe they need to go back and re-examine what they're doing (review the book, the DVD, etc.).  Note that I'm not advocating for any of heel, midfoot or forefoot.  Clearly if you want to practice ChiRunning, you have to strike midfoot, not heel, and not forefoot (alledged to be more efficient and less stressful than midfoot).  I have been working very slowly toward a midfoot strike myself, for various reasons.  It is a difficult transition for me, and I've been learning some interesting things about my personal biomechanics.  I've mentioned elsewhere that I even heel strike barefoot, which most barefooters would say is next to impossible.  But I'll keep trying, though I'll never be a ChiRunner.  BTW, many of the biomechanical principles of ChiRunning are based on what what the elites (supposedly) do.




    Message was edited by: lenzlaw


  • RunningAwayinTN Amateur 26 posts since
    Feb 25, 2010
    Jun 12, 2010
    Re: I hold the believe that 90% of runners suck at running.

    Running the Gate River Run (15k) in Jacksonville I got smoked by a guy in a Sponge Bob costume and a Fire Fighter in fire pants, helmet, and air bottle. Yeah, they probably weren't comfortable, but they were still badasses. The only complaint I have with people running in plain clothes is that it takes a second to figure out if they are exercising or escaping. I gotta look around and make sure there isn't something dangerous coming like a bear or a clown.



    Okay, I just laughed so hard at this that it hurt.

  • EldrickWoods Rookie 1 posts since
    Jun 16, 2010

    I hear you man.  I also hold the belief that 90% of the golfers suck at golf.



  • coffeedrinkingrunner Amateur 14 posts since
    Jun 16, 2010

    Amen!  It's much better to learn as you go than keep your butt on the couch and learn to do nothing.  Hey, I have read of some great runners that are heel-strikers.

    James Jones

  • kellymarie1081 Amateur 13 posts since
    Apr 27, 2010

    to the original post:


    two months ago i struggled to run for 60 seconds.  i was embarrassed and humiliated at the gym and felt self conscious about running.  it took weeks of telling myself that everyone there was so focused on their running that they couldn't possibly care what i was doing and probably didn't even notice that i was there.  last night i ran a mile and a half with no trouble at all but i'm still self conscious about it.  this post serves no purpose other than to confirm the fact that there are people judging them, to turn people off to running and set self conscious people back.  and if someone cares so much about the running form of other people, why not post something constructive and helpful instead of trash talking people who may not even know any better without the guidance of an experienced runner.

  • gettmovin Amateur 26 posts since
    Jun 1, 2010

    amen sister.   running is hard enough.  if it were easy, everyone would be doinh it.  and btw... you rock!  keeping on movin

  • LiLaLaPJ Rookie 4 posts since
    Jun 1, 2010

    I'm a BRAND NEW runner. I'm 45 and never ran unless I had to. Was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma at 40, Wow, amazing what one can do when on can breathe. I JUST started running, switching it up from walking. I'm a heel striker. I started trying to run with the "correct" stride, but now my ankles hurt. I saw a post that describe how the body is supposed to be positioned over the feet, but I've lost that info. Anyone willing to describe it again?

  • Haselsmasher Legend 538 posts since
    May 25, 2009

    It's hard to say "correct form".  I describe them as "modern" or new running forms.  Maybe "new" is not the right word - some have been around a while.


    There are 3 common ones if you want to read about and pursue a structured method.  Pose Method, Chi Running and Evolution Runnign seem to be the most popular.  I wrote a blog article giving an overview (very high level) of each.  You can find that article here.


    In general the programs are pretty similar from the standpoint that they advocate:

    *  Erect body posture

    *  Slight forward lean so that falling down/forward is the primary method to move you forward

    *  LIFTING of the foot off the ground - not pushing forward with that trailing foot

    *  Short strides - with feet landing primarily under your center of mass

    *  Short strides also equates to increase foot cadence.  Generally the programs advocate taking at least 180 steps / minute


    Within/between the programs there are differences and emotional arguments over which one is "best".  As I said in the article - in my opinion it comes down to a "Coke or Pepsi?" decision for each of us.  Which of these do you like the best?



    "Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."

    -- From the song FM by Steely Dan

  • LiLaLaPJ Rookie 4 posts since
    Jun 1, 2010

    Thanks Jim. I'll do some reading. I'm very scientific when it comes to exercise and like to follow formulas, so I'll do some experimenting. I figure if I'm new, I might as well get off on the "right" foot, form-wise. My husband is "natural" runner. He just retired from the military, and NEVER had one running injury that did not involve falling down a mountain, lol. I've watched him run, and he lands on the forefoot and takes shorter strides and it just comes easily for him. Is there any difference for men and women considering our center of mass/gravity is different?

  • Haselsmasher Legend 538 posts since
    May 25, 2009

    Interesting question.  In the reading I've done around these forms I've never heard any reference to needing to accommodate for gender differences.


    I'm assuming the differences in COM is in their height - women tend to have lower COMs or the other way around.  The real way COM impacts these running forms is whether, at any given time, whether the COM is over the balance point of the foot.  If the COM is ahead of that point you'll fall down/forward, if it's behind that point you'll fall down/backward, and obviously over that point you are balanced and standing upright.  So as it pertains to running the issues/importance of COM is whether it is or is not ahead of the contact point (and that changes during the running cycle - with each step).



    "Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."

    -- From the song FM by Steely Dan

  • running410s Rookie 16 posts since
    Jan 6, 2006

    Excellent points Jim, and your were probably being brief, but I would add:


    Keep your head up, centered and looking foreward about 100 ft ahead, and not at the ground.


    Keep elbows at 90 degrees and the hands not crossing the center line in front of your body.


    Keeping your hands and wrists loose but toned.  No clenched fists please.


    Shoulders relaxed, and not bunched up around the ears.


    Lead with the knees.


    Anyway, a quiet heel strike is better than a loud midsole or toe plant.


    Run quietly, so you can nique up on a snipe.

  • SonicBolt Pro 114 posts since
    Aug 21, 2008

    Those last couple of posts described how I try to run. For me it equates to less PF pain, knee and achilles pain.

    I was doing speed intervals at the gym last night and there was a young girl a couple of treadmils over from me. I could hear her feet slapping over the music of my Ipod. When I got off the treadmil, I could see her strides were way out there, she was swinging her arms across her chest....and she was screaming fast on that treadmil!! She blew away "Mr. Perfect form" and sent him away mumbling to himself! It works for her, you go!


    And to the poster that is self conscious, remember that your working out for YOU ok? Dont give a rip about anyone else in the gym, your there for you. Your there and your doing it so reach on back and give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it! Dont let anyone or anything steal the joy you get knowing your doing a good thing. Ok, I'm done preaching.

    Spring Dash 2009 5 mile 38.52

    Spring Dash 2010 5 mile 37:17

    Race the River Sprint Triathlon 2009 1:17:34

    Race the River Sprint Triathlon 2010 1:14:25

    Bloomsday 12k 1:02

    Spokane half marathon 1:48

    CDA half marathon 1:57

    Windermere marathon 4:50

    Open heart surgery to replace defective aortic valve 2/9/11

    Spring Dash 2011 5 mile--volunteered

    Practice winning...or you'll never be any good at it.....

  • Jasonhomey Pro 236 posts since
    Jul 19, 2004

    Well, it is said that Usain Bolt has horrible form but it works for him. Form doesn't win events.

    Do or do not, there is no try. - Yoda


    Marathon - 3:24:47 10/17/10 Columbus Marathon

    1/2 Marathon - 1:34:26  09/07/03 Columbus Half Marathon

    30 K - 2:22:36 09/28/03 Heritage Rails to Trails

    10 Mile - 1:12:20  08/17/03 Alum Creek 10 Miler

    4 Mile - 25:43 11/26/09 Pilgrim Progress

    5 Mile - 34:43 05/26/2003 Upper Arlington 5 Miler

    5K - 18:55 05/22/11 Physicians Free Clinin 5K Fun Run

    10K - 40:50 02/27/11 Last Chance for Boston

  • LiLaLaPJ Rookie 4 posts since
    Jun 1, 2010

    I was wondering about the issue of bigger chest and rear ends, esp for new runners who might be carrying a little extra weight in those areas, lol. I'm not quite as streamlined as a man, so I was wondering if there is a difference.

    All of the info has been a tremendous help. Thanks so much!

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...