Asymmetrical foot strike

My Life as a Runner > training > Asymmetrical foot strike
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Nothing about human body is perfectly symmetrical. Shapes of eyes and ears, length of arms, legs and feet, for example. Unless it is noticeably asymmetrical, one usually does not worry too much about it. But what if such asymmetry causes injuries and what if s/he can correct it to fix the injuries? I think s/he would be interested in knowing how to correct it. I am interested in knowing how to correct my asymmetrical foot strike to alleviate chronic tightness or live free of injuries.

How do I know I have asymmetrical foot strike? My shoes. Outsoles of my shoes to be exact. The pictures below compare a pair of shoes with 252 miles on them with a brand new pair, both pairs being Saucony Kinvara 5. In the picture, it is clear that outside of my right heel is more worn out (see the black rubber cushion) than the left.

Left heel worn out more than right 
Right heel is worn out less than left heel 

The next set of pictures compares the same pairs of shoes but you are looking at forefoot now.

Left forefoot is worn out more than the right 
Right forefoot is worn out less than the left 

This set is not as clear as the pictures of my heels, but if you look closely, the outside of my left forefoot is more worn out than the right. And this has happened to all the running shoes I have worn in the past, pretty much consistently regardless of shoe types, trainer or racing flat.

From these pictures, I am concluding that I tend to land on my fore/mid foot on my left foot and land on my heel on my right foot. Or, maybe, I land on my heel both feet, but my right heel is hitting the ground harder the the left. And perhaps, I pronate more on my right foot than with my left foot. I am sure there are other elements in play. Maybe one of my legs is longer than the other? I know my left foot is tiny bit longer than the right. It is also known to me that my left hamstring, hip and leg in general are stronger than the right.

How do I correct the asymmetrical foot strike? Well, I don’t know. But I have a few people I can consult with. Also, I’ve seen online resource about gait retraining and injury treatment. It is too late to try correcting my foot strike before Boston, but I would love to know if the correction will make me a better runner in the future.


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