Mastering Midfoot Striking: The Key to Improving Your Running Form and Performance

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Running is a fantastic way to stay active and improve your overall health. 

If you want to get the most out of your runs and training, paying attention to your form is important. Good running form is not just about looking good; it can also help you run faster and more efficiently and prevent injury. 

However, changing running form can be challenging, especially if you have been running the same way for years. In this blog post, we’ll explore why it’s essential to focus on one aspect of your form at a time and how to make improving your form a little bit easier.

When trying to improve your running form, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many aspects of form to consider, such as arm position, lean, and footstrike. However, focusing on one area at a time is the key to making progress. 

For example, midfoot striking is one of the most important aspects of good running form.

Midfoot striking is not about landing on your toes (in fact, it can lead to injury and inefficiency) but allowing yourself to land in an unlocked position. Doing so engages the natural spring and shock absorbers of the body. 

Here’s the difference between landing in a locked and unlocked position:

Overstriding does the opposite, and the leg loses its spring-like properties. Instead, the leg becomes stiff, negatively affecting performance and increasing the joints’ load. 

Focusing on Midfoot First.

The biggest challenge for improving run form is learning it correctly. Most runners report feeling more labored and uncoordinated, but practicing on your runs a bit at a time and building up can make the process much easier. 

Midfoot Checklist.

Most runners average around 80 steps per foot per minute, so over time, your running form becomes ingrained and more challenging to change. At first, your body will try to drift back to your old form.

A mental checklist while running can keep you on track. Run down your checklist every mile for constant reinforcement and reminders. 

Note:  Initially, fatigue makes it more challenging to sustain your new form. Keep practicing. With consistency, you’ll soon ingrain the habit and make it more seamless.

In conclusion, if you want to improve your running form and performance, it’s essential to focus on one aspect of your form at a time.

Start with learning a proper midfoot strike  

Once you master midfoot striking, you’ll see the benefits and be able to work on the next aspect of your form.

Want to improve your run form?

Join the Midfoot Project 5-week run form bootcamp for the first time ever inside the RunSmart app. You’ll get a customized training plan, five guided audio runs, access to our team of Physical Therapists, and a community of like-minded runners.