Going down hill

edited June 2013 in Running Form
Like probably most of you I normally land on my forefoot when I run, but recently I tried switching to a heel strike when I go down hill. Why? To let gravity do its work and safe energy. I have the feeling when I go FF downhill I am just using energy to try and slow myself down. I should probably mention that I only do this for steep declines and the Netherlands doesn't exactly have any mountains.

Anyone else experimenting with their strike in certain situations?


  • I read up a lot on long trail races and it's impact on the body.  One thing many articles stated was when running down hill land on the FF.  It said landing on the heal just sends shock waves up your body pounding your joints.  However heal striking may be better for you.

  • edited June 2013
    I live at the Bavarian/Austrian border. I do exlusively mountain running. Quite the opposite to the Netherlands: I actually have no running routes in the valley. The one big road going through there poisens the air of the entire valley. The only running route down there would be next to the road.

    Honestly, it would never ever occur to me to run downhill on my heels. This just hurts. If it is so steep that I can't run on my forefoot I walk.

    I often go hiking with my 18months on the back. Even then, if steep, I would walk downhill in a kind of forefoot walk.
  • I guess there is a huge difference between the small descends I encounter and moutain roads ;)
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