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Fore foot running and increasing speed

(8 Posts)
Itscurtainsforyou Tue 13-Mar-18 23:38:06

I've been advised that fore foot running is best to prevent injury, so that's how I've been training. But I don't seem to be able to increase my speed at all, I don't feel like my lower legs have the strength/energy to push me any further.

How can I increase my speed??

Johnnycomelately1 Wed 14-Mar-18 09:24:46

Couple of questions

- Are you doing dedicated speed work- intervals etc? Have you got slower using forefoot strike, or just not getting faster?

- Are you wearing shoes designed for forefoot running (i.e. ones which have a low heel-toe drop). If you're wearing shoes with a big heel-toe drop but trying to forefoot strike that will give you a very odd gait and could explain it.

Tbh forefoot strike became a bit of an obsession a few years ago and you hear less about it now. I think people realised that whilst early man probably did run on his forefoot and that forefoot running does enable a faster turnover in theory, a lot of good, fast runners heel strike so it's not a given that forefoot striking will work better for everyone. If it's not working for you I wouldn't worry too much.

emummy Wed 14-Mar-18 11:02:15

I'm not too keen on changing running style unless your natural style is causing injury. That said, if you are able to do the forefoot running that's great. Speed is mainly increased by doing speed work, so hill reps, intervals, fartlek. If there is a running club near you that might be worth a look, as they can push you on and help with ideas for different sessions. Good luck!

Itscurtainsforyou Wed 14-Mar-18 13:03:25

Thanks both of you!
I'd not thought of the shoes making the difference, perhaps a trip to a running shop is in order...
When I started out running a few months ago it was my son's running coach who encouraged fore foot running. I don't have a problem with it in principle, but I feel like I'm not increasing my speed at all.

I haven't tried the usual sprint bursts etc as I feel I have no oomph behind me! Maybe it's an energy thing?

running3 Wed 14-Mar-18 13:10:14

Forefoot running is tough on your calves so you should probably do some calf strengthening, as well as interval training.

Itscurtainsforyou Wed 14-Mar-18 13:20:30

Yeah my calves are definitely feeling it!

lljkk Wed 14-Mar-18 19:56:14

increase cadence (number of strides per second) or increase stride length (how far your leg stretches each stride).

Think about it, you have to move your legs further or faster to go faster.

I can't comment well on forefoot strike thing. When I looked closely at the actual evidence about best ways for folk to run fast, there wasn't any about which foot placement makes you faster. The elite runners do all sorts with their strike. They also move their legs faster & further each stride.

Personally I have a tendency to Achilles tendonitis which is mostly linked to walking but also I suspect too short stride while running, so am trying to extend & lift my strides.

Johnnycomelately1 Wed 14-Mar-18 23:26:39

It's worth experimenting with forefoot strike but you do need to invest in minimal drop shoes to test it. There are basically two types - minimalist (i.e. barely any cushioning) or maximalist (massive cushioning but no drop- e.g. Hoka).

However, in isolation it won't make you faster. You'd need to do speed work to achieve that. I sometimes knock back an energy gel before a track session if I'm feeling a bit urgghh.

I also think the benefits are greater for the "Joe public" trail runner than the "Joe public" road runner, as cadence is more important.

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