I’ve been meaning to make this video for a long time!
Given that Mo Farah recently (at the time of writing this) won his third career Olympic Gold Medal, it seems like now is a great time to look closer at the running form of this champion distance runner!
Check out the video below for the full discussion of Mo’s running style… but here are some of the main points:
It’s clear from this footage that Mo does a great job of striking the ground beneath a flexing knee, which is the key objective in trying not to allow yourself to over stride. Landing his foot beneath the knee in this way, means that Mo doesn’t create the sort of excessive braking force upon contact that many of us recreational runners do.
This not only enables him to maximise his existing forward momentum, but also reduces undue stress on the knee joint itself. As you would expect from a world class distance runner, he strikes the ground with a gentle midfoot strike, rather than a heel strike or excessive forefoot strike.
Cadence (Stride Frequency)
It has been well documented that elite distance runners tend to run in the 180-200 strides per minute range, and Mo is no exception.
Not only does he have a long flowing stride, with great range of motion shown at the hip, which allows him to cover a great deal of ground with each stride… he also makes well over 180 of these strides per minute when running at 5,000m race pace. It’s this quick cadence which enables him to run at just over 2:30 min/km without overstriding!
We can see from viewing Mo side-on that his posture is remarkably upright, with a slight whole body forward lean.
The ‘lean’ I would argue is a natural function of speed, rather than something to consciously focus on. It’s impressive that even when pushing hard in the later stages of a race, Mo largely maintains his posture.
For more insights into Mo Farah’s running form, check out the video above 🙂