I’ve been meaning to make this video about Mo Farah’s running style for a long time! What is it about Mo Farah’s running technique that makes him such a smooth efficient runner, and olympic legend? What can you learn to help you run faster?
Analysing Mo Farah’s Running Form
It’s clear from this race footage of Mo Farah’s running technique he 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.
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.
What can we take from this?
While we’re all different, and most of us can only dream to run as fast as Mo, the fundamentals of posture and the importance of not overstriding stand true whatever pace you’re running.