Relaxing When Forefoot Running

Relaxing when forefoot running is critical for injury prevention and performance outcome. Many learners of forefoot running were heel strikers where every muscle was being used to run.

Learning to relax, like Tirunesh Dibaba, is important in forefoot running to prevent injuryIn forefoot running, less muscular effort is required and the learner needs to tap into the spring energy stored in the tendinous structures of the leg.

This is why most East African runners, like Tirunesh Dibaba, look springy and relaxed when they run, because they are forefoot runners who learned forefoot running by running barefoot for many years.

Why Run Forefoot Not Rearfoot?

Forefoot running is safer than heel striking and allows you to reap the full health benefits of running as you will be able to run longer and harder by suffering fewer injuries.

Forefoot running is less forceful than heel striking because peak forces are eliminated since over striding is minimized. The video below shows the forefoot running style of the great Tirunesh Dibaba which you can see how effortless this style of running really is:

Forefoot running also requires less of YOUR energy a more potential energy as you will not be opposing gravity (less resistance) as heel strikers do.

Opposing gravitational forces is energy demanding. Forefoot running uses gravity as an energy source by allowing the body to fall forward while the foot kicks up behind the body.

Lean in forefoot running galen rupp tirunesh dibabaLeft,  the best forefoot runners in the wold, Tirunesh Dibaba (far left) shows relaxed lean forward and Galen Rupp (right) shows the leg kicking up behind the body. Note the absence of muscular strain in their legs.

Watch any Ethiopian runner run, you will notice they have a subtle ‘fall’  forward and a high back-kick in the legs. This is why they make running look easy and you can too!


Lets Get Running Right with a Forefoot Strike:

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

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