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Pages: [1] 2
Author Topic: Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
Mitchellra-
y
Newbie
Posts: 3
Permalink
Post Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
on: 2012 Apr 27 Fri, 16:11
Quote

Hello,
I have been confused by conflicting information from varied sources regarding the ball of the foot.

Does Ball of Foot mean only the big ball aft of the big toe, or does each toe have its own ball?

If each toe has its own ball or ball equivalent location, what is the meaning of land ball of foot first?

Is it better to roll the foot during the landing from pinky toe side to big toe side, land on all 'balls' at once and evenly, or big ball of big toe first?

Even if it were to vary in practice, I would like to practice mock running drills with some intent if one variation were better than another. Otherwise I can intend to practice more than one variation.
Mitchellray

editors
Administrator
Posts: 157
Permalink
Post Re: Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
on: 2012 May 19 Sat, 15:28
Quote

Sorry for the delay... The balls of the feet are generally considered to be two; inner (behind the big toe) and outer (behind the small toe/pinky), for most practical applications this is all that is useful - it would be tough in practice to try to land on the "ball" behind, for example, the second or third toes.

Anyway, in general I try to get people to NOT focus too much on the foot landing, or trying to attain a certain foot landing, as this usually distracts them from what the rest of the body is doing - which can mess up the foot landing even more!

Play with how you move the rest of the body, and how that affects your foot landing and most importantly what is comfortable for you.

However, you will probably discover that when you get most everything working the way it should be, that your foot will naturally land on the outer ball of the foot first, roll to the inner ball, and then the heel will touch down. But, this happens in milliseconds and, again, if you try to focus on this, you'll likely get a grossly exaggerated version and actually end up putting too much stress and strain on your feet and body.

So again, move the body as an integrated, but flexible whole, not a bunch of individual pieces, and the "individual pieces" should begin to fall into their proper places/movements:

More info:

http://barefootrunning.com/?page_id=109

ersk1
Newbie
Posts: 1
Permalink
Post Re: Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
on: 2012 May 24 Thu, 15:13
Quote

I am doing well with form in general. Where I struggle most is the down hill. The natural tendency is to heel strike to hold yourself back a little. It is difficult to not heel strike yet control the pace of the run. Any suggestion?

Tristram-
Shandy
Newbie
Posts: 7
Permalink
Post Re: Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
on: 2012 May 29 Tue, 15:23
Quote

I broke my second metatarsal in December, after 3 weeks of consciously trying to land less on the inside of my foot, and more on the outside. It may have been a coincidence, but I have a feeling that I should have left good-enough alone: I had been running well and injury free for several months, landing on my big-toe ball. It got a bit sore, but was manageable.

After my break, I had a discussion with another barefoot runner who broke her second metatarsal. She told me that she was advised by Lee Saxby to always land on the big-toe side of her foot. That's what I'm doing, now that I'm finally healed.

editors
Administrator
Posts: 157
Permalink
Post Re: Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
on: 2012 May 29 Tue, 16:12
Quote

Sorry to hear about your injury. In the reports I have seen about stress fractures and broken metatarsals, they seem to result when people TRY to point their forefoot into the ground .. in other words tensing up the calf muscle and foot.

The way I suggest making the fore-foot land first, is to bend the knees. This allows the angle of the foot to change, while relaxing the calf muscles, letting the heel touch down immediately after fore-foot landing, which takes the strain off the calves, Achilles tendon and the metatarsals themselves.

In other words do not try to force your fore-foot to land first, relax, get the rest of the body doing what it should be doing, and the fore-foot will land the way it should naturally.

Also, it's really difficult to truly know if you're landing outer ball of foot or inner ball of foot first. My co-author said he was having ankle pains landing outer ball of foot first, so he switched to inner ball of foot landing and that helped... but when I recorded his foot landing in slow motion, he was actually landing outer ball of foot first. We guess that he was over-exaggerating the outer ball of foot landing before he made his adjustments.

The important thing is how does it feel to you? Keep in mind running should be easy, comfortable, and fun!

Have fun!

Tristram-
Shandy
Newbie
Posts: 7
Permalink
Post Re: Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
on: 2012 May 29 Tue, 19:35
Quote

Thanks very much for the response. Your advice makes a lot of sense. I will pay more attention to bending my knees and relaxing my calves.

It took me months to stop doing exactly what you're describing: exaggeratedly leading with my forefoot. After looking at a video (of Ken Bob, I believe) on Daniel Lieberman's website, I saw how flat that runner's foot was upon landing, and I made the adjustment to my landing.

Thanks again.

keithh
Newbie
Posts: 1
Permalink
Post Re: Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
on: 2012 May 31 Thu, 09:06
Quote

Hi Ken Bob,
I think I've got a case of BRES. I've been barefooting for a couple of weeks now and today went for a 12 minute run. After about 10 minutes I felt blisters forming on the front of the ball of my foot immediately behind where the toes join the foot. I was running on asphalt. I don't know whether I ran too far or with the wrong technique. I suspect it may be a combination of the two..
What's your opinion ?

editors
Administrator
Posts: 157
Permalink
Post Re: Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
on: 2012 Jun 1 Fri, 14:54
Quote

If you're getting blisters after a 12 minute run, you should be looking at your technique as a cause.

In fact, if you're getting blisters after any length of run, you should be looking at your technique, and figuring out how to correct it before you run those distances again.

Begin here:
http://barefootrunning.com/?page_id=109

pomfretj
Newbie
Posts: 1
Permalink
Post Re: Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
on: 2013 Jan 3 Thu, 00:31
Quote

I'm only run 2 into barefoot running. I have adherence to the "sart slow" advice foe newbies, running 1/2 mile each time. After my first run the next two days my lower legs were pretty sore,the high ankle/lower calf area. I wonder if this is typical, or if I am accentuating the leading of the forefoot also. It's fun though...hooked!

kenbobsaxt-
on
Administrator
Posts: 117
Permalink
Post Re: Ball of Foot - What - How - Where
on: 2013 Jan 3 Thu, 01:56
Quote

The beginning of barefoot running is NOT running... it is LEARNING. If you think you're accentuating the forefoot landing, then there's a good chance you are. It's a common mistake, and potentially very injurious, to focus on forcing a forefoot landing.

Instead focus on relaxing, bending the knees, and moving your (vertical) torso in front of the feet, rather than on what the feet are doing.

Start at the beginning:
http://barefootrunning.com/?page_id=109

Have Fun,
-Ken Bob Saxton

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