Heel Strikers, Gait Analysis, New Technology: Matt Phillips Returns with Updates for 2019

Matt Phillips – Running Gait

Matt Phillips is back with us for another discussion of gait analysis, running form, foot strike, foot type, cadence, stride, and many misconceptions that we, as runners, have acquired from the running industry.  Matt first talked with Run to the Top in 2015 in an excellent interview. He’s with us today to supplement and update the myths from recent research, advances in technology, and new thoughts on how they might be different for you, as a runner from his first interview in 2015.

Matt is a Running Injury & Performance specialist based in Sussex, England. As a writer for numerous publications and websites, he is a popular speaker at national & international conferences, and has his own bi-monthly podcast called ‘RunChatLive’ helping runners, coaches and therapists clear up the myths & misconceptions that are certainly a part of this sport.

Research Driven Perspective

Matt shares with us today his research-driven perspective on heel striking, foot shape, the running magazine dilemma, the dangers and benefits of running teams, and the ever elusive sub-2-hour marathon.

This episode will give you new insight on improving your running performance and reducing injuries.

Questions Matt is asked:

3:13 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite race distance?

4:31 How long have you been a running expert and how did you get to this point?

6:44 How do you use sports for your own fitness and fun?

9:00 What has changed since your last appearance on Run To The Top?

11:30 What is the learning curve for new technology for someone in your field?

12:24 Is the equipment too expensive for an average runner?

13:54 How does a gait analysis expert differ from a traditional physician?

14:50 How does the concept of foot-shapes fit in with your field of gait and injuries?

16:40 How do we pick out shoes if not based on foot-shape?

18:07 Should we be changing or rotating shoes on a regular basis?

20:01 What are some factors that are major components for injuries to be aware of?

21:36 How do you measure the effectiveness of strength training?

23:19 What programs can people use to add plyometrics to their training?

25:55 Do you help educate individual runners on how they can progress forward without injury?

28:11 Should you, as a professional, be getting information from multiple sources?

30:28 Is heel-striking harmful or just inefficient; or is it natural?

34:17 What about cadence and overstriding?

38:57 How does seeing a gait expert compare to just listening to advice on a podcast?

40:36 Do runners improve by running with a team on a regular basis?

43:36 What are your thoughts on the quest to break 2 hours in a marathon?

47:17 Aren’t these numbers somewhat arbitrary?

48:01 What about your podcast and conference in October?

52:41 Any final thoughts?

57:29 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite book(s), video or resource?
  3. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?

Quotes by Matt:

“Research shows again that in order to help a runner reduce injury, one of the biggest factors is not this particular exercise or this particular stretch or running this certain way, it’s educating them that, for example, they need to be stronger. You don’t need to be more flexible, you don’t need to be able to touch your toes to be a good runner. Elite runners are actually LESS flexible than their counterparts.”

“At the end of the day, we live in a world where the magazines are not going to help you. And it’s probably going to be a long time before they do help you.”

“I’ve seen runners who are overstriding and they’ve been told by a passionate and well-wanting coach or therapist ‘you need to be landing on your midfoot or forefoot.’. So they’ve gone out and they’re still overstriding but now they’re landing miles out in front of them on their midfoot or forefoot, and for me that’s like 8 weeks of putting food on my table for my little children because you’re bound to hurt your Achilles something chronic.”

“If you’re going to change your cadence, it needs to be no greater than 5-10% at a time.”

“On the software we use, MotionMetrix, it’s nice in a sense that there’s a big number at the top which puts all the data together and shows you your running economy and it shows your elastic return, so as runners see that number go up when they’re reducing cadence, they get it.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast:

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

Matt’s Podcast: RunChatLive

RCL International Running Injury Conference

Matt’s 2015 Interview on Run To The Top

MotionMetrix Gait Analysis Software



Christopher Johnson training products

Ian Griffiths Sports Podiatry

Craig Payne homepage

Craig Payne PodChatLive


Follow Matt on:





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