I just noticed I run on my toes...how bad is this for you? or is it good? - DFWstangs Forums
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2002, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
Lifer
 
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I just noticed I run on my toes...how bad is this for you? or is it good?

I noticed yesterday after watching a video of my baseball game that I run on my toes abd balls of my feet...my heel almost NEVER touches the ground. So, last night when I was doing my running for the day, I tried running heel to toe like normal, and it felt akward, and it seemed a lot harder on my knees and ankles (maybe because they aren't used to it.)

I ran a 4.89 40yd last time I was checked, so It doesn't slow me down much. And I'm white! lol, so I dont think the toes slows me down, maybe less ground contact is a good thing for speed...

Is this bad for you in Any way? I dont have any knee or leg problems whatsoever...and no sign of anything in the future (knock on wood), so I dont think it is 'bad' per say, just different.

If anything, I think it may be good for my legs. My calves are huge, as well as my quads, and I could never figure out why. Well, I think this may be why. I could go 3 years without touching a weight with my legs, and my legs are still big as hell, and pretty defined (I took 3 years off from working out, until I started again 3 months ago). I started off working out three months ago, and the very first set of squats I did was 410lbs without the bar, and I can easily leg press 900+, I've never really maxed out just because it's a PITA to rack the 11 45# weights per side if I want more than 900(this is a push out while sitting, I think this is what it's called). Anyways, my legs have always been my strong point, could my running habits be the reason?

Just a thought...but this may be a good way to get bigger legs for those who have trouble.

Shawn
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2002, 10:19 PM
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defintely get bigger calves!

Proper distance running technique differs from sprinting technique for obvious reasons. A sprinter is concerned with get from point a to point b as fast as possible.

While you would think that would be a goal of distance running, there is problem. You aren't going to be running 10 miles with each 100 meters being as fast as you can do one 100 meters.

So, you use the heel strike to help in getting your toes off the ground. You use the roll of your foot from heel to toe to help create momentum/power for the push off.

In sprinting you are concerned with explosive power, high knees and high arms (like pistons). Upper body slightly forward.

In distance running, you want to move as fast as your system will allow you, while conserving as much energy as possible (the paradox). Distance runners will keep their arms at 90 degrees, relatively low knee action, body straight up and down.

If you are having trouble with running heel to toe, most likely some stretching of your calves will help.

But, if you aren't running, say 10 miles at a time, I wouldn't worry about it.

Joe Falcon did the mile in 3 minutes 49 seconds, which equates to 44 5.20 second 40 yard dashes back to back. Sumthin' tells me he was running on his toes! The record holder in the 5000 meters did the equivalent of 136 5.5 40 yard dashes in a row. I think he was running on his toes as well!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2002, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies...

I really think this is why it looks like I only work my legs out and nothing else, although it is usually the other way around. If anything, I neglect my legs, but I run, and ALWAYS on my toes at that... My whole family has small legs, but I've been running on my toes since I was probably 5 or 6...so maybe that's why my legs aren't derived from a chicken?

However, I am not a very good distance runner, and this could be the culprit.

Last night I tried running on my heels and toes, and rolling my foot to help get the toes off the ground, like you said, and it felt funny. Not because my calves needed to be stretched or anything, but simply because I am not used to it. It didn't hurt, just felt different. And, I only got to try it on a treadmill, I really need to try it on the ground itself. On the treadmill, it seemed like I was stepping really heavy, and was really loud, lol. When I'm on my toes, you can barely hear me running.

Next time I go running (outdoors), I will try and do some distance with heel to toe action.

Although I would probably get a better workout on my toes. I usually run between 2 and 5 miles, every other day as regularly as possible. I'll probably just stick to my toes, if it isn't hurting. I dont plan on winning any marathons, just keeping in shape...

Thanks!

Shawn

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 07:09 AM
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Talking

I run on my toes as well. Picked it up from my outfielder days. I mostly run distance right now and dont have any problems.
When I try to run heel to toe is when I can feel spurs on my calcaneus and my achilles will start to bother me.
If you're not having any problems dont change your successful ways.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 08:29 AM
 
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I run on my toes too. If i run for long distance it starts to hurt my knee. So I have been tring to get myself running on the balls of my feet. Just feels to damn weird.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 08:41 AM
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running on your toes gives you more lift, great for sprinting but not great for long distance. we had two race horses when i was younger we always kept there holves cut down to an extreme angle with more on the front and hardly any on the rear , i am not comparing a horse to a human but the science is still the same.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 12:23 PM
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When I ran this morning (an easy 8 miler), I paid attention to my foot strike.

In fact, my foot strike is actually ball-heel-ball-toe, not heel-ball-toe. I strike first with the ball of my foot, allow my body forward motion, flatten to the heel, roll back to the ball (body now past 1/2 of the foot), finally pushing off on the toes.

I tried to hit with the heel first and was impossible to get any speed.

Amazing what you find when you actually think about what you are doing. So, I researched it a little farther and here is what I found from a book, "Run Fast" by Hal Hidgon (a stud running coach, in my opinion)

1. Running form is completely an individual issue. Each athlete differs in to a minute extent in height, weight, bone structure, length and size of muscle, etc., etc. Therefore no two runners should ever use identical form.

2. It is a form error of the highest magnitude to run without permitting your heel to touch the ground with each stride, without reservation, in a ball-heel grounding action. This is true at all running speeds, especially sprinting. (not sure on this one)

3. It is physically possible to land heel first in running, but quite incorrect. Can only be done at low speeds and and jars the body excessively. Landing heel first and "toe running" are both incorrect.

4. Ideally, the foot position in running is one in which the inner borders fall approx. along a straight line. Athletes should run in a straight line, but not necessarily on the line.

5. Runners in distances greater than a sprint should use a natural stride: not exaggerated, not long, not short, but a stride keeping with the maximum economy of effort.

6. Understriding/overstriding is always a mistake, each runner has an optimal stride length based on their own bodies.

7. At uniform top speed with zero acceleration, if the athlete was running in a vacum with no wind resistance, there will be no body lean at all.

8. Hands should be carried relaxed, cupped at all running speeds. Clenching fists causes tension, which produces unnecessary fatigue.

9. Head should be aligned naturally with the trunk, looking a few meters ahead while running.

10. Usually the best solution to form problems is many reps of running short distances, 100 meters, at fast, though not exhausting pace.

Another blurb from Applied Kinesiology:


"At a slow running speed, complete foot contact is used. The foot-surface contact with each stride goes from the ball of the foot to the heel and back to the ball (restful to calf muscles). As running rate increases, the amount of foot contact becomes less, until finally at full speed only the forward part of the foot contacts the surface. The sprinter "runs on the toes." (Oz's view: Actually it is the front of the ball of the foot just behind the toes)"
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 12:43 PM
 
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Quote:
When I ran this morning (an easy 8 miler),
makes me sick i am dying after 2 miles
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rdgowens


makes me sick i am dying after 2 miles
Now... when I say "easy" it doesn't mean I think 8 miles is easy. It has to do with pace. Easy pace for me is 7:10-7:55 a mile. Paced runs is 6:10-6:35 a mile. All in an effort to record a sub-2 hour 50 minute marathon in January.

8 miles hurts! The difference would be that I've done enough of them, that I recover quickly afterwards. I tend to let my heart rate get to about 160-170 during the run, but within 10 minutes of stopping and walking, I'm back down sub-100 beats.

If you are doing 2 miles 3-4 times a week, add a 1/4 mile to each run each week (you will be able to handle it, trust me). In a couple of months your runs will be 4-5 miles and it will feel just like when you were doing 2 miles.

Your cardiovascular system is the easiest system in your body to improve quickly. I've worked with people who went from zero miles per week to finishing a marathon in 6 months.

My 8 milers are my "junk" miles to keep my legs from going stale. I do two track workouts and one long endurance run (12-18 miles) per week, which are the "premium" days. My junk days and long days, I try to keep my heart rate under 170, on my interval days, I'm usually in the high 190s during the interval sets.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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hmmm..come to think of it, I do kind of land on the balls of my feet...

But, how in the hell can you land on the balls of your feet, roll to your heel, and then spring back off with your ball/toes without running backwards? lol

If I tried running ball/heel/ball, I would HAVE to run backwards, lmao, that is just seemingly impossible for me...I could POSSIBLY contact the ground first with my ball/toes, touch me heel briefly, then spring off again, but it would require more work for me than just the balls of my feet alone, so it would not increase my distance.

I do, however, agree that running heel to toe jars your body a lot more. I tried it on the treadmill in Racquetball and Fitness here in San Antonio, and it was loud as hell, embarassing, lol. Sounded like I was going to step through the treadmill, hehe

Anyways, I guess I'll stick to what works for me...no since in fixing something that isn't broken. And, it's good to know that a lot of people run on their toes/soles

Shawn
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShawnQ
hmmm..come to think of it, I do kind of land on the balls of my feet...

But, how in the hell can you land on the balls of your feet, roll to your heel, and then spring back off with your ball/toes without running backwards? lol


Shawn
Haha. You don't hit your heel like you think. You plant your foot on the ball and let your foot come flat, eventually touching your heel, then back up to the ball of your foot.


So it is more just letting your foot come in full contact with the ground.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2002, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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lol, I know, just kind of being a smart ass...it's funny how this guy you quoted makes it out that this is THE correct way to run, but doesn't clarify himslef (unless you didn't post it). If he left it at what you posted, there'd be a lot of wierd looking runners because they were too dumb to realize what he was saying.

When I was at my baseball game tonight, I tried it out. It's almost like your sole hits the ground, you BARELY touch your heel to relieve the calf for a split second, then back to the sole/ball again, right?

It still feels akward and makes me EXTREMELY slow...but It's good to know!

Shawn
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