Hello runners, and aspiring runners. I’m Bretta Riches, founder of Run Forefoot and I research biomechanics of running, specifically foot-strike mechanics.
What fuels my interest in biomechanics is the effortless forefoot strike running style of elite Ethiopian distance runners, Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele. They are not heel strikers like many recreational runners and they ran barefoot in their earlier years which accounts for their forefoot strike landing.
I am also an avid runner, and I take my running very seriously. I have been on both sides of the fence in that when I began running I was a heel striker, always battling injuries. After intensive research on biomechanics, I discovered that heel striking may be mechanically unfavorable and potentially injurious.
Having discovered that running with a forefoot strike provides impact reduction compared to heel striking, and being inspired by Dibaba’s forefoot running style, I transitioned to forefoot running.
As a forefoot striker, my landings are softer, regardless of surface hardness, running feels easier, more natural, I flow. Although, I may be far from elite status, having adopted a forefoot strike allows me to run consistently without discomfort and injury.
My goal at RunForefoot.com is to share my past transition process with you and provide key information from the scientific literature that helped me along the way.
Basically, I want aspiring forefoot runners to learn from my mistakes by avoiding the ‘too much, too soon’ pitfall and to integrate specific conditioning exercises into your transition process to avoid injury.
In addition, I wish to advocate the importance of running with a forefoot strike and raise awareness of the potentially health harming effects of heel strike running.
Finally, by showing that forefoot running is easy to learn and is much safer, I hope to inspire more people to run and banish the false perception that running is ‘dangerous’. Less pain, more gain with forefoot running.
Do whatever works for you! If you are a heel striker, or a mid-foot striker who has never been injured, keep doing what you are doing. But, for those who are chronically injured, adopting a forefoot strike might be a sensible alternative to consider.
What are your thoughts on this post? Were you impacted? Looking forward to hearing from you!
BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, running geek, founder of Run Forefoot.com. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, running feels natural,easier, and I’m injury free.I launched Run Forefoot.com to advocate the potential benefits of forefoot running and raise awareness on the potential dangers of heel striking.
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