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Running Exercise to Prevent Heel Striking and Stop Knee Pain

My Knees Ached From Running, but This 1 Exercise Fixed My Form

As a total running newbie, I had no idea how to properly run other than just going for it and letting my body figure things out mile by mile. Then just two weeks into my four-week Nike Training Journey, a training program meant to kick off my 2019 fitness goals, my knees started constantly aching in my day-to-day life because I was apparently heel-striking (pictured) during all my runs. This obviously led to some serious knee pain and I had no idea what to do about this other than spend most of my free time attempting to massage my knees in hopes of sweet relief.

Thankfully, as a part of my Nike Training Journey, I had the chance to meet with Nike Trainer Ariel Foxie for a one-on-one training session, and he corrected everything about my running form with just one exercise. Turns out it truly is best to ask a pro, because it was almost as simple as just taking off my shoes.

Corrective Forefoot Running Drills

Here's a step-by-step of what Ariel had me do so you can try it, too:

  • Shoes Off: The minute your shoes come off and you start running, you instinctively won't want to heel strike because it's extremely painful! By taking off your shoes to practice proper running form, you'll be able to get comfortable with how it feels to land on the balls of your feet.
  • Jog It Out: Now that your shoes are off, just jog back and forth — indoors or on turf — for roughly 15 yards four to six times.

    Without Shoes
  • Shoes On: Now that you've familiarized yourself with what running should really feel like, it's time to throw on your favourite running shoes and take your new running form around the block. Personally, I love wearing the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 since they're so supportive and cushy, which I desperately knee-d (see what I did there?) when running on the rough Brooklyn sidewalks. It might still feel awkward initially — it definitely felt weird to me — but after a mile or two, you'll start feeling more efficient than ever before.


Now that your have your feet in order, here are few more ways to check your running form, which will surely come in handy for the all the miles to come.

Image Source: NIKE
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