2012: Year of the forefoot stride?

Well, I just had an interesting run.  I took my usual route and headed for the Provo River Trail.  The only thing that I changed in this run was my stride.  Since I started running, about ten years ago, I’ve been a heel strike kind of guy.

But because of everything I’ve learned in the last month or so about barefoot running, I decided to concentrate on landing fore-to-midfoot.  The change in stride is immediate.  I have a faster turnover, faster pace, and less impact on my knees.  That’s my first impression, anyway.

Comparing today’s run to a similar 3 mile run from a couple of weeks ago, there is one startling difference.  I am about two minutes slower, overall, today.

However, that’s a little deceiving.  Because of my faster turnover and pace, I had to take several breaks.  This is a breakneck pace for me.  Every time I looked at my watch, I was somewhere between a 7:15 and 8:00 pace.  Only 3 weeks ago, my typical pace was about 9-9:30 a mile.  Here are the only differences between 3 weeks ago and now:

1.  I’ve changed to a forefoot strike.
2.  At the end of a few runs, I’ve finished 1/2 mile barefoot.
3.  I ran a trail run on Saturday.

This faster pace presents its own challenges, however:

1.  It’s easier to inflame my asthma at a faster pace.
2.  I wonder about a higher propensity for injury (hopefully this is offset by a forefoot strike)
3.  My energy level felt great, today, but I wonder if I can sustain this pace over a long distance (like a longer triathlon or a marathon.)  This is a big deal, because the goal is not to slow down.

Anyway, very interesting.  I’ll try it again.  I know that my calves and shins are getting worked.  I don’t feel like they’re getting hurt, but I know I need to be careful.

And finally, a disclaimer:

I probably already knew a lot of this.  Many times, when I’ve run with my Dad, he’s told me that I should have a higher turnover rate and that my pace is loud.  This probably translates to running forefoot.  I might have been right, today, but Dad probably was right five years ago.

This entry was posted in Exercise, Misc and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *