“I recently read a blog on Track & Field running where the following question was asked by a competitive sprinter… “I have been having problems with running on the balls of my feet and always seem to overextend my feet which causes a braking effect and slows me down quite a bit.”
The question does not surprise me as it is something we hear and see at The Running School all the time but the answer which was “You should not run on the balls of your feet.” really did surprise me. Especially as this was supposedly an expert answer.
The truth is that the most efficient (and fastest) form of running is definitely on the balls of the feet, as when this is matched with the correct leg action it actually reduces the braking effect. This is not suitable for everyone but you will not see too many sprinters running flat footed or heel-toe (not too many fast ones anyway!). The most important thing when looking at running technique is to assess each person individually and specific to their sport or distance. Only by doing this can we hope to make genuine improvements in efficiency and performance in the people we work with.”