Dr. Peter Larson – So You're A Heel Striker – It May Be OK!

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[tabs] [tab title=”Description” ] At TRN we have produced a number of megabytes talking about the benefits of forefoot striking. We have invited author of the book Tread Lightly: Form, Footwear, and the Quest for Injury-Free Running, Dr. Peter Larson, to the podcast. He has recently been conducting research on the biomechanics of distance running in road races with his undergraduate students. Heel strikers unite, you no longer have to run at night under the cover of darkness to hide your running gait.


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Leave a Reply to Don Freeman Cancel reply

  • I run almost exclusively in Minimal footwear, basically Vibram Bikilas. I think that while we should probably avoid heel striking and focus on overall better form, even I find myself coming down a bit on my heel. Some times it just happens. Best to just be as conscious as possible and try to maintain the best form that you can over your entire run. Don’t get crazy when you happen to heel strike.

    • The take away from the Peter Larson discussion: It’s important where the foot lands in relation to your body mass rather then what part of the foot you land on. i.e. If you land on your forefoot with your leg in front of your body mass it’s poor running form.

      btw tweeted your 2 minute video on the subject why do you run trials. It can be found on your site at very very good!!

  • Love your podcasts, so feel a bit bad that my first comment on them is a negative one… but you really had way too many co-hosts on this one. When your co-hosts are fighting each other for who can ask the guest a question, and the poor guest doesn’t know whose question to answer, that has to be ringing the alarm bells :-). I’ve no doubt the extra co-hosts you had on this show are eminent people with a wealth of experience we could learn from, but that doesn’t mean they should be co-hosts.

  • Hey Tim
    Ah you notice we got caught in a bit of a conga line on that podcast. We knew that may become a bit awkward.

    When that happens just settle into that conga line , take in some fluids and calories and get the heart rate back down a bit. And before you know it you will say, “On your LEFT” and sail through the course.

    We agree with you Tim. No offense taken here. That’s not to say we don’t love running in big groups and really think a great deal of the co-hosts that sat in with us.

    Thanks for listening

  • Very much enjoyed!! I love the idea of “do what works for you”. Thank you for having those kind of people on your podcasts.
    I spent the week imagining landing behind my hips and I think it is helping! Great idea!!
    This is the first week that all my miles have been in a true minimal shoe (Altra Eve), its been a good running week too. My body is happy. (started running in zero drop in January)

    Thanks again for great info!

  • Finally someone (Peter Larson) makes a notion about the fact that the heel has a 12mm head start when positioning your foot for landing in tradional shoes. I have been missing that aspect in the podcast, especially when runners in tradional shoes say that they are mid-foot strikers. That actually translate to a for-foot strike if you take a way the drop. To for-foot strike in tradional running shoes would also mean that the calf muscle would have to work in an almost fully contacted state. In a fully contracted (shortest) state a muscle has the least power though all muscle fibers are engaged. Trying to for-foot strike in tradional running shoes will only lead to unefficient use of your calfs and should only be attempted in low drop shoes.

    Love your podcast !

  • Just relistened to this episode, think it’s about time you invite Pete back, it would be interresting to hear his thoughts about the maximalist comeback swing of the shoe industry.

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