My daughter said once that we have lots of grew New Leaf Nickie, the blog intended to capture most of our adventures. If you've landed here, welcome to life with New Leaf Nickie on Havoc Hill Farm.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Forefoot vs. Heel Strike? What?

One of the items on my bucket list is to run a 5K, and, since I'm not getting any younger, I've decided that I really need to get on this.  Right now.

I've started talking to a co-worker who runs for leisure about the "problem" I've always had with running.  You see, I can't breath when I run.  It's really quite distressing.  Since I can remember, I've recognized that I can push through the mental aspect of running as well as the physical, but I have to stop after a very short time and walk because my lung function just isn't there.  He asked me a simple question:  "What part of your foot hits the ground first when you run?"   

Uh...duh, Kevin. "My heel," I answered.  And you call yourself a runner...

"Well that may be your problem."

"What?  Why?"  Seriously?

 He then went on to give me some scientific explanation of one of Newton's (I think that who he said...I sort of glazed over at one point) laws.  Something about for the amount of force applied to the ground, the ground exerts an equal force back to the foot which is then absorbed into the body.  There was also some talk about rolling from your heel to your toe exerts too much energy to sustain any level of running.  Well, honestly, I got bored, so I decided I'd do my own research.  I found this.

Seriously, take the time to read this, even if you're not even remotely interested in running.  I've always wanted to be a runner, but I've never been able to do it.  It's just too hard for me.  I've always admired those people who can run.  I've always wanted to be able to set out on a run and just go.  I do my best thinking when I'm on the elliptical or engaged in some form of physical activity, so running is something that I've thought would be good for me, and I've just SO wanted to be able to do it.  Turns out, I can.

This article explains it perfectly.  It's logical to me and just makes sense, even to my nonscientific-based mind.  So, tonight, I tried it out.  I was amazed!  It was so hard and I felt like a psych-ward escapee, but I was able to run a less than 10 minute mile and wasn't even out of breath afterward.  I could have kept going, but my goal was only to time myself for one mile, and I didn't want to jinx it by pushing beyond my goal.

So, I now have my sights set on a local 5K on April 24.  I'm going to do it.  I don't even care if the two 10 year olds that run these races all the time beat me.  Just to finish and run more than I walk is my goal for this first 5K. 

If you want to join me, please do.  I do better when I'm pushed and have someone to compare notes with, so I'd love to have a partner or three.


  1. This is definitely true. You can feel when you are running the "right" way. My problem i keeping in that groove. So are you going to buy the shoes?

  2. I'm not sure if it's on this site or not, but the big thing for me was the question, "How do you run when your barefoot?" That's the natural run to save the impact on your heels. I guess the body protects itself. I doubt that I'll buy the shoes unless I find that I have problems with my calves. I don't plan on becoming a running's more about setting a goal and achieving it.