Eliud Kipchoge's RUNNING FORM – 5 Simple Ways for YOU to Run Better
Running form: learn how to run like Eliud Kipchoge. In this video, I analyse Eliud Kipchoge’s running form and explain what runners like you and I can learn from watching the fastest marathon runner in the world.
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When it comes to marathon running Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest of all time. He is the first man to finish a marathon in under 2 hours, by completing the INEOS 1:59 challenge in 1:59:40.
Lots of different factors contributed to him successfully achieving this landmark running achievement, one of which has to be his running form. Eliud Kipchoge is a great example of proper running technique for distance running.
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The five aspects of Eliud Kipchoge’s running technique I highlight in this video are:
1 – FOOTSTRIKE
You’ll see that Eliud Kipchoge runs with a midfoot strike, rather than running aggressively on his forefoot, as you might expect from a sprinter. Neither does he land on his heels, as the majority of runners do. He avoids running with a heel strike by allowing the balls of his feet to strike the ground first, a split second before allowing the rest of his foot to contact the ground. Unlike sprinters, and runners who run with a pronounced forefoot strike, he doesn’t keep his heel off the ground throughout stance phase of running gait. Instead, he allows his heel to “kiss” the ground, which allows his achilles tendon to passively store energy, which is then released during the propulsive element of late-stance.
2 – STRIDE LENGTH & OVERSTRIDING
Kipchoge doesn’t overstride. This helps to make his running gait more efficient than many other runners (even elite runners) who overstride by landing excessively ahead of their centre of mass, usually with a heavy heel strike.
When your foot strikes the ground with your ankle ahead of your knee, you increase the decelerative braking forces your body experiences and has to overcome before moving on to the next stride. When overstriding, you’re effectively running with the brakes applied!
Kipchoge, in comparison, strikes the ground with his foot in a position where his ankle is perfectly beneath his knee. This allows him to maintain efficient forward progression while keeping decelerative forces to a minimum.
3 – CADENCE & CONTACT TIME
Maintaining a high running cadence (stride frequency) not only helps you to prevent overstriding, it also allows you to keep a short ground contact time. When you maintain a short ground contact time, your limb stiffness is increased. This increase in limb stiffness allows for a more efficient transfer of energy throughout the body, and into the ground as you run.
4 – TORSO ROTATION
The gentle and relaxed torso rotation you see in Eliud Kipchoge’s running form is a form of counter-rotation to balance out the action of his legs and pelvis. With his upper and lower body working in an opposite rotational pattern, it allows him to use his core muscles more effectively to help drive himself forward. For more information about how runners use the anterior oblique sling, check out this previous video:
SHALANE FLANAGAN RUNNING ANALYSIS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy1YGuhgxaw
5 – RELAXATION
This is something we can all work on! Although Eliud Kipchoge is running incredibly quickly, he looks relaxed and in control. His hands, shoulders and face are all relaxed. This is an important and often overlooked aspect of running technique.
Let me know in the comments how you get on with trying to apply these principles of Eliud Kipchoge’s running technique to your own running.
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ABOUT ME: I’m a runner, sports rehabilitation specialist and coach based in the UK (Norwich and London).
Since 2007 I’ve been working with athletes focusing specifically on helping distance runners and triathletes overcome injury and improve performance through developing their individual running technique.
Running biomechanics has become a geeky little passion of mine!