Changing Running Styles

I was thinking of calling this “Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks”. Since I started doing triathlon and running I have been doing a lot of reading about running from numerous sources. I didn’t take much of it to heart until I did my first (and only so far) triathlon. I basically started running in October of 2008 to prepare for the 2009 Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon. I thought it would be fun to do a Sprint Triathlon along the way. My wife being a Photographer thought it would be fun for her to. In my running up until then, I had been fighting shin splints the whole time. Now would be a good point to look a the picture that made me realize I needed to change my running style:

Old Running Style

As you can see, I was a very severe heel striker and after doing a lot of reading, I found that this was probably the cause of my shin splints. I spend a lot of time working on shifting to a closer to forefoot strike and all of a sudden, running feels much more natural and much more like it did when I was a high school kid running the quarter mile. The results can be seen in this picture:

New Running Style

Yes, it is still a heel strike, but it much less severe, so much so, that I don’t really feel the landing in my heels anymore. I have been following information put out by Coach Jeff Kline of PRSFIT and saw a video he put out that explained the difference between forefoot and heel striking and why forefoot is so much better. I can testify to the improvement. I have not had a hint of shin splints since I made the change. I was able to teach this old dog a new trick.