The Newbie Runner Diaries: What's Your Running Style?

"So, what's your running style?" my run-savvy friend asked me.

I gave him a confused look, and asked him to clarify.

"You know, what type of foot strike do you have?" he said.

"Um, I put one foot in front of the other," I said. "Then, I put the other foot in front of that one. I keep doing that over and over. That's what type of runner I am."

For newbies like myself, there is some confusing terminology in the running world.

I discovered this in the early stages of my half marathon training. Little did I know, there are different running styles, and the way your feet strike the ground can determine a lot.

Pronation and Supination

Get your pen and pad ready, fellow newbies. Class is in session.

Pronation occurs when the outside of the heel hits the ground first, and the foot rolls inward. Supination is the opposite—the inside of the heel hits first, followed by an outward roll.

Another detail that factors into the grand scheme of running is your foot strike. We strike the ground with our heel, forefoot or mid-foot.

Are you bored yet?

If you're running pain-free, these terms probably don't have much value to you. If you're experiencing reoccurring aches or want to become a more efficient runner, though, it's worthwhile to learn more about them.

You may be over-pronating, over-striding or doing something else that can lead to injuries or hinder your performance and efficiency.

Attempting to change your natural running style isn't always the smartest thing to do, but transitioning to shoes or insoles that specifically tailor to your feet can make the world of a difference.

More: Should You Change Your Running Form?

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About the Author

Hunter Hewitt

Hunter Hewitt is an online content editor for Active.com. As a former collegiate athlete, Hunter has always been passionate about living an active, healthy lifestyle. He enjoys running, basketball, ultimate frisbee and many other outdoor sports and activities. Follow Hunter on Twitter @HunterHewitt

Hunter Hewitt is an online content editor for Active.com. As a former collegiate athlete, Hunter has always been passionate about living an active, healthy lifestyle. He enjoys running, basketball, ultimate frisbee and many other outdoor sports and activities. Follow Hunter on Twitter @HunterHewitt

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