Tirunesh Dibaba Helped Me Run Better

During my transition from heel strike to forefoot strike running, I read many books on biomechanics to improve every aspect of my running form which only complicated things.

Overloaded with information on running technique made running feel less natural and less enjoyable, until I saw Tirunesh Dibaba.

How Tirunesh Dibaba Helped Me Run Better
Imagine yourself running as relaxed as Dibaba to improve motor learning of forefoot running.

Tirunesh Dibaba Helped Me Run Better

The hallmark feature of Dibaba’s forefoot running style is her relaxed, effortless flow.

I know it’s difficult to copy another runners style of running since everyone has their own ‘flow’. I just wanted to feel and look relaxed like Dibaba while I ran, and I believe any runner can pull that off.

I watched countless videos of Dibaba running as a training aid to improve my forefoot running technique.

My goal was not to copy Dibaba’s exact forefoot running style, but to equate the feel (how I think I’m moving) and Dibaba’s relaxed stride to my own mechanics.

Relying on the Feel of Relaxation to Run Better

As I ran, I visualized Dibaba’s relaxed gait and allowed my body to mimic accordingly.

Just relax, let it all flow like Dibaba, which in turn, allowed me to find my rhythm that felt natural.

  • when movements feel natural, tension and strain on the joints quickly dissolve, putting you at a lower risk of repetitive injury when running

More importantly, focusing on the mental image of Dibaba’s relaxed running style simplified my thought process while I ran. Soon after, my body moved easier and running started to feel natural and comfortable.

bretta riches forefoot running techniqueI owe it to Dibaba for helping me extinguish the bad habits of heel striking and replace it with a new habit of forefoot running.

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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

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!

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