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I was a relatively keen jogger (10-15k /day), no problems. I have not jogged for about two years, and started up again.

I'm only jogging 2-3k a day at first. This has been a couple weeks now.

So, when I jog at first everything is peachy.

  • My right foot is fine. It rolls perfectly heel, toe, heel.

  • At first my left foot is also fine...

But!

After say 1km,

  • My left foot gets "flat"

  • It comes forward and basically lands "flat" all at once (ie, rather than the heel touching first with the toe pointing up in the air)

  • At the back it rather comes up "all at once" rather than toe-downwards-heel-upwards and stays pretty "flat" while in the air

With each passing week, the problem does seem to be getting a little less.

So, at first the problem would kick in after 0.5km, but then only after 1km, it seems to happen a little later each day.

  • When this happens, indeed my left lower front leg is a bit sore.

  • There are no real lasting effects, ie, after half an hour back in the house I'm fine to walk around etc.

Basically my questions are

  • Really should I just keep at it and the problem described will eventually decrease and go away

  • Do I perhaps have a gait problem?

  • Is there perhaps some particular stretch or such I should be doing. (Or strengthening, or .. bananas or something??)

Any thoughts?


Long description if it matters ... So my right foot is back. It bends fully so I'm on my toe. It lifts off the ground. Instantly my toe comes all the way upwards. My right foot comes forward, with the toe pointing up in the air. The heel strikes the ground. It rolls forward on to the toe and then again as the right foot leaves the ground, my heel is up and it's the toe that leaves the ground. Repeat..

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  • Wow, not one answer ?! thats not like this site ! – Fattie Feb 1 at 13:59
  • bountyized .............. – Fattie Feb 1 at 14:00
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    Honestly, it's not really an answerable question. It could be biomechanical, it could be muscle fatigue from the toe flexors, could be shoes, fitness, etc. There is really just no way to tell, and even a running gait analysis wouldn't help much unless you ran a couple km before you went for the analysis. From the description I am leaning just plain old fatigue causing a lack of pushoff in the gait, which is why it is happening later and later. But again, there isn't really a good way to tell. – JohnP Feb 1 at 14:25
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    To me, and from what I've read about running, and how I run, what it sounds like is as you fatigue, your left foot is reverting to more a naturally correct running technique, and you're trying to force it to a less correct heel strike technique, which you're slowly able to do more as more as your body becomes stronger and more conditioned at doing so. – Dark Hippo Feb 2 at 8:17
  • I’m voting to close this question because it probably relates to an issue best resolved by an physician – FredrikD Feb 9 at 13:10
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+100

It seems to me that this is probably fatigue building up to where you can no longer maintain you usual gait. However, from the description of your running style, I think you may want to reconsider that before trying to correct something to continue running heal-toe. I would recommend a more forefoot approach and perhaps trying to shorten your stride and increasing your cadence. This may feel uncomfortable at first and make your calves sore, but it should strength your calves and reduce impact on your knees which is always good. If the front of your foot collapses, you may have weak muscles in the front of your leg (which makes sense with the soreness you describe) and/or tight calves. The combination of these muscles' actions are what keep your foot at the right striking angle, so if you correct your technique and perhaps add in some light cool down calf stretching, the issue should resolve with time. If the problem continues however or gets worse I'd always recommend seeing a physio or GP

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  • ah, you're essentially saying it's better, more natural, to actually strike toe first??! – Fattie Feb 2 at 11:58
  • @Fattie yes. Shoes with a big drop (difference in stack height between heel and toe) can cause even more heel striking, so be on the look out for that. I wouldn't go for totally minimal shoes if you're not accustomed to them, but I find that shoes with lower drop make for better running dynamics. I have a very wide foot and would recommend Altra otherwise On make some good ones and I'm sure plenty of other brands do too. – E.Aigle Feb 2 at 12:26
  • AC - that's fascinating. I have never in my life been able to go "toe first". I had absolutely no idea until this moment it is perhaps better, more natural. One note, I jog (pretty slowly) I really don't run (so, 10km/hour would be about my top speed ever!) As mentioned I went more for moderate distance, eg, 100+k a week) (as mentioned I stopped joggging for a couple yrs, and am back). In fact my favorite shoes ever were mizuno universe (eg, amazon.com/gp/product/B00KSX7R3M I guess basically almost liek racing flats). ATM I just have an ordinary typical modern "fairly large drop" shoe... – Fattie Feb 2 at 13:39
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    .. i will get a pair of pretty low-drop shoes again, and see! – Fattie Feb 2 at 13:39
  • Pretty much all the studies that I have seen suggest that people naturally select the gait and strike pattern that is natural/best for them. I have also seen studies on chi/pose/other forefoot variants that show increased injury rates. Can you find some evidence that this method is a better approach? – JohnP Feb 2 at 14:04

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