Forefoot running depicts the act of running where the forepart of your foot strikes on the ground by toes or ball of the foot. It is sometimes called a forefoot strike, and it is an effective way of running that you can opt for rather than using heel strike or midfoot strike running technique. Like other running techniques, foot running connects with various injuries that you certainly need to understand, as will be briefly provided in this article.
What is a forefoot?
You were getting into an exciting lecture on human anatomy now to define forefoot. Well, the forefoot is the part of your foot that comprises your toe bones and long bones within the foot.
These parts are also referred to as phalanges and metatarsal bones, respectively. Except for the physically challenged, we all do have a forefoot. Biological experts can even go an extra mile to say the forefoot comprises ligaments, tendons, 19 bones in five toes, and tissue.
Forefoot running is identified based on the unique features that a run tends to exhibit, and these are: firstly, the bodyweight directs to your toes and ball of the foot.
Secondly, it involves bending your body a bit forward, starting from the hips when you’re running. And lastly, unlike heel strike, where you have to land your heels, your heels won’t hit the ground at all when pacing your steps.
How do you run on your forefoot?
Like any other soft skills or techniques you need to acquire and master excellently, forefoot running is not an exception! Honestly, you need to know how to run on the forefoot as it helps your physical well-being and improves running performance. Learning how to run on the forefoot can precipitate comfort and commendable performance.
As explained earlier, running on the forefoot means you land on the ground on the fore-part of your foot, i.e., toes of the ball of the foot such that you rarely find your heels getting in contact with the running surface.
Like other foot strike techniques, the forefoot has a way in which you can harness your speed, adequate energy consumption, and the ability to mitigate healthy risk or injury. In many cases, forefoot runners often bend forward a little bit from the hips going upwards. As such, you need a forefoot running pattern when having a sprint or a need to power you up on a steep hill terrain.
What is the correct posture of running?
Well, it is one thing to know the kind of posture you exhibit when running, and on the other hand, to determine if it’s the correct one. In several cases, the proper posture of running helps to conquer your running speed, effectively use your energy, and reduce injury.
It’s quintessential to consider that the ‘correctness’ of running posture links with diverse factors such as the running ground terrain, distance to be covered, and the type of shoes put on, among others, to mention a few.
As a result, many factors help determine if a particular running pattern doesn’t have associated risks. Starting with a forefoot strike, it is ideal for powering you where there is a steep gradient and when you need to sprint a bit more. Your toes or ball of the foot contact the running surface without necessarily having the heel touch the ground.
Simultaneously, you may find out that your body slightly bends forward from the hip, which is an excellent way of enabling yourself to move swiftly. For a midfoot strike, your foot lands steadily on the middle part of the foot as it evenly distributes the impact of the shock. This pattern makes you run steadily and balance over your ankles, knees, and hips.
Last but not least, heel strike is where you strike the ground on your heels instead of the forefoot. Astride leads in front of your body instead of rightly underneath or a bit forward, as with other patterns. Therefore, you can not identify the correct running posture given circumstances like distance to be covered, the nature of the terrain, etc.
Does forefoot running prevent injury?
The right forefoot running shoes and technique prevent injuries, especially those associated with heel strike running. Researchers have found that all foot strikes are related to particular injuries like other running patterns.
Switching from a specific running way, for instance, from heel strike to forefoot strike, is what does a lot of harm or injuries to you, unlike in the case of maintaining a particular running style. Therefore, you can save your knees when running on a forefoot strike as it puts pressure on your ankles.
Is forefoot or midfoot strike better?
The choice between the forefoot and midfoot strike is difficult if isolated from the reality at which running occurs. There is a thin line between the forefoot and midfoot strike such that giving a particular scenario helps in choosing which is better than the other.
Let’s say you are a school pupil and have decided to participate in relays or short distances in athletics. Forefoot strike is the better option when it comes to sprinter distances. The reason is, you can run faster with your body weight directed to your toes and the ball of your foot.
Midfoot strike has comparative advantages on a forefoot strike because it makes you steadily balanced over your ankles, knees, and hips. Moreover, your heels barely touch the ground, which works best at eliminating pain in your knees. Therefore, a forefoot strike is better than a midfoot strike because it enables you to run fast and reduce the impact of the shock on your knees.
Is midfoot running better?
Midfoot running is apt and appropriate for your physical well-being. By the way, midfoot running is where your foot makes contact with the running ground or pavement on the center as the shock distributes equidistantly. The resultant outcome is that you feel the distribution of weight to other body parts such as hips, knees, and ankles.
Through midfoot strike, you can maintain a considerable speed when running and at the same time ensure that you’re free from sustaining injuries. When you are forefoot striking, your toes are at the risk of getting injured because of the weight directed to the toes.
Both forefoot strike and heel strike cannot distribute shock equidistantly. As such, they are prone to straining the toes, ball of the foot, ankles, calf muscles, knees, hip, and back. Therefore, the midfoot strike is better as it manages injuries than the other antagonistic running techniques, as clarified in this article.