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Running form

Answered By Jeff Arbogast

Question

My 10 year old daughter is a born athlete. She has been in club soccer for 4 years, and will now be participating in almost all the schools available sports. She suffers from heal, foot, and leg pain after practices and games. I noticed early on that she runs on her heals, and I have tried to coach her on getting her on her toes, especially for sprinting. (that would be taking advice from your mom!) I am neither a runner or a coach, so how can I get her the proper training on running (sprinting) technique? I know that if she could get the right coaching she could not only improve the pain factor, but her speed and performance as well. In one of your previous questions about track shoes for a 10 year old, you mentioned that it might help with getting them on their toes. Could that apply here?

Answer

Most of this is answered in your other question, but I would certainly look at heel lifts as the first and cheapest effective option. If that does not work satisfactorily, get to a sports podiatrist and see if you have a leg-length discrepancy, or axial problem (supination/pronation) that may be causing the pain. Track spikes are a specialty that can accent good form,. but are not a replacement for form. You have several options to gaining form work. In your area, contact one of the local high schools. Many times, a high school coach can set aside a few minutes before or after a school workout to meet with you and take a look. Ask around for those who are willing to help . . . they will exist. Secondly, email me for a form handout for speed-development. Always easy to get through YouthRunner . .free and effective. I woulkd stay in trainers for as long as possible, especially if pain persists. Running is a challenge, but pain should not be present to this degree in a youth athlete. It robs the fun and enjoyment of the sport. Try the heel lifts, but if you get no improvement in 96 hours, get professional evaluation. Train hard . . .have fun . . Arb coacharb@binghamxcountry-track.com